David de Gea has noted that the English footballing culture looks after its players in a far more accommodating way than in Spain.
The Spaniard moved to Old Trafford from Atletico Madrid in 2011 and, despite a shaky start, has gone on to assert himself as one of the finest keepers in the world.
He came close to joining Real Madrid in 2015 but the move fell through during the dying stages of the transfer window following a series of documentation issues.
And De Gea, who showed no signs of wanting to leave over the summer, was quick to criticise the way Spanish players who stray from La Liga are often treated.
“I think that the players who leave Spain are not paid as much attention as those who stay in Spain and people forget about us a little,” he said.
“The English culture cares for and loves its players a lot.”
Perhaps De Gea, in his sly dig at the Spanish FA, is protesting against the way teammates Ander Herrera and Juan Mata have been largely overlooked in recent times, while fringe players such as Gerard Deulofeu and Lucas Vazquez are being given the nod instead.
Then again, you can hardly blame the Spanish footballing hierarchy for wanting to avoid letting too many players conditioned by the Premier League and its exhaustive nature into the squad. Spain’s success in recent years, after all, has been delivered through remaining loyal to a way of playing – patient, fluid, always with the ball – seen in La Liga.
The bridge of styles between Spain’s first division and the Premier League is vast, and it will likely mean that only De Gea, David Silva and Alvaro Morata will feature on a meaningful basis for Spain in next year’s World Cup.