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Del Bosque impressed by De Gea's composure

Football Soccer - Spain v Czech Republic - EURO 2016 - Group D - Stadium de Toulouse, Toulouse, France - 13/6/16 Spain head coach Vicente del Bosque before the match REUTERS/Sergio Perez Livepic
Football Soccer - Spain v Czech Republic - EURO 2016 - Group D - Stadium de Toulouse, Toulouse, France - 13/6/16Spain head coach Vicente del Bosque before the matchREUTERS/Sergio PerezLivepic

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has praised goalkeeper David de Gea for the way he has handled an off-field controversy at Euro 2016.

The Manchester United player, who has vehemently denied allegations in the Spanish media linking him to a prostitution case, was selected to play against the Czech Republic in Group D in Toulouse on Monday.

"At the beginning, I was surprised (by the story) but the attitude shown by the player has given all of us serenity," Del Bosque told Cadena Ser radio.

"The player acted immediately and came to speak to me and (my assistant) Toni (Grande). He showed a lot of composure for his age and an extraordinary maturity. He left no doubt in our minds and that was a huge relief. It really helped us."

The 25-year-old De Gea, who made his senior debut in June 2014, only started in three Euro 2016 qualifiers for the European champions but had a strong season in the English Premier League.

His rival for the goalkeeper's jersey, Iker Casillas, goes into the tournament after a first season at Porto following his move from Real Madrid, where he had struggled for a couple of years.

"There is a great competition between them," Del Bosque said. "Because of what has happened to Iker in recent times and the five years that David has been at Manchester, it has fostered this debate.

"It's not a bad thing and I have no reason to complain about it."

(Reporting by Adriana Garcia, editing by Adrian Warner)

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