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Euro 2016: David De Gea not distracted as he helps Spain secure win



De Gea

Spain goalkeeper David De Gea finally put a bad week behind him, displacing his compatriot Iker Casillas and making a vital save at the end of his team’s 1-0 win over the Czech Republic on Monday in their European Championship opener.

De Gea helped Spain extend its tournament record of not conceding a goal for 600 minutes, three days after facing allegations involving a pornography filmmaker.

Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque waited until the last minute to name De Gea as the starter in goal ahead of Casillas after a police investigation threatened to destabilize La Roja’s camp.

The 25-year-old De Gea’s name appeared in court papers on Friday in which a protected witness accused him of promoting an encounter between her and two other soccer players.

De Gea has denied the allegations, which came as a shock to many in the soccer world because the Manchester United player hasn’t been known to attract controversy.

The scandal overshadowed the fact that De Gea was finally going to get his chance to take the reins from one of Spain’s most iconic players. Casillas’ name being left off the team sheet in a major tournament would have seemed unfathomable only a few years ago, but poor outings at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and a move from Real Madrid to FC Porto prompted a rethink.

De Gea was a spectator for most of Spain’s match against the Czech Republic, but he appeared composed in goal when called upon. Del Bosque left it vague over whether De Gea would start against Turkey in Spain’s next Group D match.

“The game’s just finished,” he said. “It’s not the moment to talk about who will play the next match. We have to make our evaluations and then we’ll see.”

De Gea didn’t seemed fazed by the controversy surrounding him — a feeling supported by one of his teammates.

“De Gea is playing with confidence,” Spain captain Sergio Ramos said.

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