Casillas tips teenage keeper De Gea for Spain call up

Last Updated: Sep 24, 2010, 13:10 PM IST

Madrid: Atletico Madrid goalkeeper David De Gea has been tipped for an international call-up by Spain`s World Cup-winning captain Iker Casillas after making a string of spectacular saves over the last week.

The 19-year-old Spaniard was beaten twice against Barcelona last weekend but pulled off some impressive stops from the likes of David Villa and Pedro to keep Atletico`s defeat down to a 2-1 scoreline.

He impressed again at the Mestalla on Wednesday when he helped Atletico become the first side to take any points off Valencia this season, when they drew 1-1.

"Everyone`s seen what he`s been doing and praising his performances," Real Madrid`s number one keeper told reporters.

"I don`t know him personally but he has been doing very well. Watching him reminds me a lot of when I started 11 years ago.”

"Between us all we have to look after him. He has a long road in front of him, and when he least expects it he will get a call up to the national team."

The Spanish youth international was recruited into Vicente del Bosque`s preliminary 30-man squad for the World Cup finals in South Africa, but missed the cut behind Casillas, Victor Valdes and Pepe Reina.

He has made a huge impression since debuting as a substitute for Atletico in the Champions League last September, and jumped from the B team to undisputed first choice as the side went on win the Europa League and reach the King`s Cup final last May.

One interested observer on Wednesday was Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson who missed his own side`s League Cup tie at Scunthorpe to be at the Mestalla.

Valencia are United`s next Champions League opponents but Spanish and British media speculated on Thursday that Ferguson was there to cast his eye over De Gea.

Bureau Report