Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara has hailed Manchester United shot-stopper David de Gea as sensational after he helped Spain to a 1-0 win over Ukraine on Monday.
Spain had already qualified for Euro 2016 to be hosted in France courtesy a 4-0 win over Luxembourg – a game where the 24-year-old watched from the bench.
Ukraine needed a win to earn an automatic qualifying spot from Group C but were frustrated by the brilliant De Gea as he made a string of stunning saves, including two to deny Arten Kravets and Ruslan Rotan in the first half, saving 13 of the host 25 shots on target as the Spaniards ran out 1-0 winners.
“The word sensational doesn’t do David’s performance justice,” explained Thiago, a long-term international team-mate at the lower age levels. “He was magnificent and saved everything that came his way.”
Spain coach Vicente del Bosque told reporters after the game, he said: “It was a good experience given how many changes we made.
“Ukraine played well but David De Gea was brilliant too.”
While de Gea added: “I have to compete to the max. It’s true that I had a bit of luck today, but I did well and I’ve got to keep it up.
”I’m in the best form of my career. I think it was a great team performance. It’s a very testing place to come to and we were up against really tough opponents who needed to win.”