2018 FIFA WC

2018 FIFA WC: De Gea gets a special compliment from his Spanish teammate

XtraTime Web Desk: Spanish star goal keeper David de Gea was criticised after the match against Portugal as he failed to stop a shot from Cristiano Ronaldo. His Spanish teammate Thiago Alcantara defended the goalkeeper.

Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago, who started just one of Spain's three group games, suggested the Manchester United shot stopper's hard work in training would go some way to silencing his critics.

"If you have seen the matches of David de Gea at Manchester United you can see that he is a porterazo [magnificent goalkeeper]," he told reporters.

"To criticise, you have to see everything, including how he works in training like an animal."

Thiago feels improvements were required all over the pitch ahead of Spain's clash with Russia in the round of 16, which takes place at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium on Sunday.

He called for the Spanish media in Russia to get behind the team as they prepared for a partisan crowd in the capital.

"We are not going to play against eleven Russians, but against thousands of them," said Thiago. "We are all far from home and in theory supporting Spain.

"I agree that we have made mistakes in defence. I know we're not playing our best, but let's win - we're all together.

"What needs to be improved? Everything. But that starts with trust. You have to have your own trust and trust in your team-mates."

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