De Gea embracing Spanish criticism after Portugal error
Spain goalkeeper David de Gea was in defiant mood after his blunder in Friday's thrilling 3-3 draw with Portugal, stating: "I haven't killed anyone."
The Manchester United man spilled Cristiano Ronaldo's shot into his own net shortly before half-time, giving the Portuguese a 2-1 lead.
Spain bounced back thanks to Diego Costa's second of the night and a fine strike from Nacho, but Ronaldo's stunning free-kick late on ensured that De Gea's error would prove vital come full time.
The 27-year-old appeared unfazed by his mistake after the game and even criticised Spain fans for a perceived lack of support.
"I like that there are criticisms," he said. "Diego Costa has also been criticised and he scored two goals. I haven't killed anyone, either. I'm happy with the national team.
"I don't see much that they support me from Spain. My own criticism is bad enough. I am happy with the support from the manager and the lads.
"This can happen. It's a mistake. We put on our gloves and go out into the field and we know how difficult it is. I count on the support of the coach and my colleagues to continue. I will stay calm. It was a difficult ball, I'll keep training and try to do things right. I haven't killed anyone."
Para aprender a triunfar primero tienes que aprender a fallar. Seguimos pic.twitter.com/fKmWEXSs0W— David de Gea (@D_DeGea) June 15, 2018
Manager Fernando Hierro and team-mate Gerard Pique were both quick to defend De Gea after the game, making it clear that his position as first-choice goalkeeper is not under threat.
Hierro said: "We don't have any doubts about De Gea and he doesn't have doubts about himself. I gave him a long embrace.
"We know goalkeeper is a difficult position but we have absolutely no doubts about De Gea. Against a player like Ronaldo these things can happen."
Barcelona defender Pique added: "All of us are behind him, knowing that in the important moments he's going to be like he's always been. He doesn't have any lack of confidence, that's what you want to suggest, but in the dressing room, it's clear David is our number one."