David de Gea's eight iconic moments for Manchester United, Atletico Madrid and Spain

Playing a starring role for club and country for the better part of a decade, David De Gea has compiled some sensational moments between the posts. We've taken a look at just a few.

David de Gea's route to being renowned as one of the best goalkeepers in world soccer was by no means an easy one, but a decade on from his move to Manchester United he will undoubtedly go down as one of the club's great servants.

The Spaniard arrived at Old Trafford from Atletico Madrid in 2011, and such a career change meant his performances were far from assured.

Fast forward 10 years and there have been plenty of highs and lows, however, here is Planet Sport's take on some of his greatest moments over the years.

Making his mark in Madrid

Throughout De Gea's Manchester United career, rumblings of a move to Real Madrid have often been in circulation - however, it's at their city rivals Atletico Madrid where the Spaniard rose to fame.

By the beginning of the 2009/10 season, he was already a permanent fixture in the club's 'B' team, nevertheless, he duly took his chance to ease his way into the first team and become a regular starter by the end of the season.

In doing so he would be between the sticks throughout Atletico's run to the Europa League final, and at the age of 20 he was a huge part of the run to winning the competition after they beat Fulham in the final.

Manchester United's new number one?

De Gea played every game for Atletico in the 2010/11 La Liga season and kept 10 clean sheets in the process, and such form meant Man United pursued his signature.

The then-Spain Under-21 international signed a five-year contract at Old Trafford in July 2011, with a fee believed to be around £18.9million ($26million).

At the time this made De Gea the second-most expensive goalkeeper in the world behind Gianluigi Buffon.

It was a big move to say the least, and the pressure was on with the Spaniard replacing the reliable Dutchman Edwin van der Sar...

Dealing with an urgent Mata

In a parallel universe David de Gea's career in English football dwindled into the doldrums as he struggled to get to grips with Premier League soccer...

Return to 2021, and we know this is far from true as he still adorns the title of United's current longest-serving player, but it could have all been so different.

The youngster was error prone and far from a suitable candidate to be keeping guard of the Old Trafford nets in his first few months with the club, and a spark was needed to reinvigorate his undoubted potential as United's saving grace - this may well have come against Chelsea.

Heading into February 2012, De Gea had lost his place as Anders Lindegaard but returned for a trip to Stamford Bridge and the game was going far from planned in reality as United found themselves 3-0 down, but a sterling comeback saw them level it at 3-3.

Despite conceding three, De Gea seemingly proved to be the matchwinner with a splendid save in the final minutes as Juan Mata arrowed a free kick towards the top corner - a save that has been in showreels ever since and reflects the Spaniards ability to pull off ridiculously good saves.

David de Gea of Manchester United at Stamford Bridge in 2012
David de Gea of Manchester United at Stamford Bridge in 2012

Spanish greatness to come?

Our Spaniard's rise to the fringes of the Spain national team was like no other, as he watched the senior pros above him create memories that will last a lifetime in Spain as they went on to win the 2008 European Championship and the 2010 World Cup.

The country's first major honors were a culmination of talent both old and young, as well as the country's domestic teams dominating world soccer. It also looked promising at youth level, and De Gea was a bright spark in the youth ranks who was tipped to make the step up.

His success with the national team started off in 2007 where he was part of a side who won the U-17 European Championship, and he went on to match this feat at Under-21 level in both 2011 and 2013.

De Gea and his teammates celebrate after winning the European U-21 Championship
De Gea and his teammates celebrate after winning the European U-21 Championship

De Gea did get his chance to make his first appearance for his country at a superior level, and has since gone on to make 45 appearances for Spain since deputising in 2014.

Premier League winner

For many United fans the most recent of their 13 Premier League triumphs seems a distant memory, though De Gea was one member of the current squad who played an integral part in the success eight years ago.

He was more settled in the side in his second season at the club and despite a few hiccups he could feel part of a historic goodbye for manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

READ MORE: The top 10 greatest American players to play in the Premier League

The success wouldn't continue and it would be a few years before De Gea could handle another trophy at a club addicted to winning, but it's certainly the trophy which is paramount in any cabinet of a Man United legend.

Baines left bewildered

De Gea became the first keeper ever to save a penalty by Leighton Baines
De Gea became the first keeper ever to save a penalty by Leighton Baines

There have been many breathtaking performances to note in David de Gea's repertoire, but not many are as revered in the red side of Manchester than his man of the match performance against Everton in October 2014.

This one well and truly announced him as a fan favourite as he made an abundance of vital saves for United to clinch a 2-1 victory and earn back-to-back wins for the first time under Louis van Gaal.

Firstly, he became the first goalkeeper to deny the ever-reliable left-footed Leighton Baines from the penalty spot in the Premier League, before following up with an outstanding outstretched save to deny Bryan Oviedo's thumping long-range effort in stoppage-time.

A match for anyone on his day

Although the team honors were hard to grasp in the seasons after United's last Premier League success, the individual honors started flooding in for De Gea as he stepped up to the plate.

His emergence as the best goalkeeper in England and one of the best in the world could not be argued, as he took his place in the Players Football Association (PFA) Premier League Team of the Year in five of six seasons between 2013 and 2018.

Furthermore, he was also a regular as Man United's own club Player of the Year, a Premier League Golden Glove winner in 2018, also impressively winning Match of the Day's "Save of the Season" five times.

This list of personal titles alone should be enough to put the Spaniard in contention as one of the most spectacular save-makers ever seen.

The Wembley wall

When David de Gea is in imperious form, he is unbeatable, and what better place to showcase your outstanding ability than at England's national stadium?

Well, this proved the case in January 2019 as Man United visited Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium, and the three points were a necessity for the visitors as they sat seven points off their opponents.

All three points is what Man United left with in an extraordinary 1-0 win, with De Gea ultimately to thank for this with sublime saves along the way.

We can talk about his aesthetically pleasing fingertip saves, but De Gea's positioning and ability to save with his feet puts him in another bracket to most in his position and there was certainly magic in his boots on this occasion as Tottenham failed to find the net from their 21 shots.

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