David de Gea surprised by bizarre message from Spain football federation president

Jamie Spencer
David de Gea hasn't played for Spain since 2020
David de Gea hasn't played for Spain since 2020 / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Manchester United star David de Gea has been the subject of a bizarre saga regarding his Spain career, after the president of the national federation (RFEF) sent him a message about the goalkeeper having retired from international football.

De Gea established himself as Spain’s number one at Euro 2016 and held the role until a poor 2018 World Cup led to him being dropped by the end of the year. He hasn’t played for his country in just over two years and hasn’t even been called up at all since last November.

Despite improved club form, the 32-year-old was reported not to have even made Luis Enrique’s list of five goalkeepers in a 55-player preliminary Spain squad. Unai Simon, David Raya and Robert Sanchez got the nod, with Kepa Arrizabalaga and David Soria in contention as back-ups.

Journalist Jose Alvarez appeared on El Chiringuito to shed some light on why De Gea has been out of the picture, explaining that the player received a call from Enrique informing him that he would no longer be considered for international duty.

It was described as a ‘technical decision’, in other words the coach considers other goalkeepers a better fit for his preferred system. De Gea is said to have asked the specific reason but was not given one. Then the situation became really weird.

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It is claimed that RFEF president Luis Rubiales sent a message to De Gea that read something like, “David I am glad that you have finally made the decision you have been thinking about. I have already been told that you are leaving the national team.”

De Gea was understandably surprised because he hadn’t retired from international football.

He replied: “There is no renunciation of anything, who has told you that I renounce anything? The coach has told me that he is not going to count on me, but I have never renounced the national team, nor do I intend to do so, that is if I am called up.”