David de Gea called into Spain squad for pre-Euro 2012 friendlies

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 04: David De Gea of Manchester United looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at White Hart Lane on March 4, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea has been called into the Spain squad by Vicente del Bosque for his side's two upcoming pre-Euro 2012 friendlies versus Serbia and South Korea. The 21-year-old helped lead Spain's U-21 side to victory last summer during the European championships. Quite obviously, Spain -- the defending world and European champions -- have a plethora of high quality players and that includes goalkeepers as well. de Gea has yet to be capped by Spain's senior side as the trio of Iker Casillas, Victor Valdes, and Pepe Reina stand in his way. For these two friendlies, no Spanish players from FC Barcelona, Athletic Bilbao, nor Chelsea will be called into the squad due to those club's upcoming participation in the Cope del Rey final and UEFA Champions League final. Therefore, de Gea gets the call-up in place of Valdes.

While de Gea's stock continues to rise, and despite Reina's and Valdes' dip in form this past season, the youngster is still very unlikely to make Spain's squad for this summer's European Championships in Poland and Ukraine. Beyond those two, Casillas -- arguably the best 'keeper in the world -- is unlikely to be dethroned as Spain's No. 1 anytime soon. However, being called into the squad can only be a benefit to de Gea's development and perhaps the 2016 European Championships can be the first major international competition that he can reasonably vie to be Spain's No.1. Goalkeepers do tend to age well, but by then, Casillas will 35, Reina 33, and Valdes 34. Hopefully at that time, de Gea will have established himself as one of the world's finest 'keepers at age 25.

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