• Premier League

Mata: De Gea so calm he is almost unconscious

ESPN staff
May 14, 2014
Juan Mata presents David de Gea with the Manchester United player of the year trophy © Getty Images

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea is so laid back he is almost "unconscious", according to team-mate Juan Mata.

De Gea, who three years ago endured a tricky start to his Premier League career, was recently named player of the year at United's end of season awards. And Mata has paid tribute to the goalkeeper, claiming he has "huge faith in himself" despite a disappointing season which saw the former champions finish seventh.

"He has huge faith in himself, which is a really important virtue," Mata told the Guardian . "He doesn't let anything affect him.

"The day he makes a mistake he knows he has made a mistake but it never sinks him. He uses it to make sure that he doesn't make the mistake next time. It's a great quality. He's very calm. At times it seems almost like it's unconscious but that's a good thing."

Mata, who moved to United from Chelsea in January for a club-record £37 million, went on to compare De Gea's attitude to that of Lionel Messi's, saying both players possessed an ability to deal with the extreme pressure of life at a top flight club.

"I've spoken to friends from Asturias about this and they say: 'b***** hell, it's as if Messi doesn't care about anything, it's like he's just not bothered.' He scores goals and acts as if it's normal.

"But maybe that's a good thing. At this level, there's so much pressure and maybe if you tell yourself that you have to be brilliant all the time, when you make a mistake you collapse. Maybe you have to treat it all as a bit more 'normal'. I think that's a quality that great players have."

Mata also thanked de Gea for helping him to settle in when he arrived at Old Trafford: "It really helped that David De Gea was here. We had played together in the Spanish Under-21s. That makes a real difference for me ... and for him. It's a two-way street.

"I'm happy he's here ... and in fact, he has been one of the best players in the team too. He's happy that I am here too. We live very close together, we spend a lot of time together."

Both Mata and De Gea have been named in Spain's provisional 30-man squad for this summer's World Cup.

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