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English teams at a disadvantage in Europe, according to David De Gea

Last night saw Manchester United ease into their first three points of the Champions League campaign, following a rather comfortable 3-0 victory over Basel. In fact, barring Paul Pogba’s injury, the night went perfectly according to plan and Jose Mourinho will certainly have been impressed by the professional attitude showcased by his team at Old Trafford last night. Following the victory, many fans across social media have been quietly whispering about the proposition of United reaching the latter stages of the competition, with many believing that the Red Devils are the best shot of any English side lifting the trophy come the end of the season.

However, there is evidently still a long way to go and with the other inevitable big guns such as Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Paris Saint-Germain all also picking up three points, United do face some stern opposition. In fact, United will not just have to potentially face tough sides on the field but will also be at a disadvantage due to actions off the field, according to David De Gea. Speaking in a recent interview, De Gea was asked as to whether there was a gap between Europe’s elite and United. The Spaniard responded:

“I don’t know, there are really strong teams in England and really strong teams in Spain but it’s true, in England, we normally never have a break in December and January. These are tough moments for English teams, when we have many games, and I think it is a bit difficult to be ready for the Champions League.

But I think the level is more or the less the same. It’s true now the Spanish teams are in a good moment but it’s also true in England and especially Manchester United are one of the best teams in the world.”

The reference to the winter break in the La Liga refers to the three-week break for Spanish sides, in which no club competitions take place. In comparison to the Premier League, this is evidently a rather stark contrast, as in England the Christmas period provides as simply the most hectic period of fixtures, with teams playing 2 times a week.

De Gea clearly sees the winter break as an advantage for the Spanish sides, where they are able to recuperate and rest, just before the pivotal stages of the Champions League take place. The Spaniard himself is a player who used to be accustom to this break, during his time at Atletico Madrid, before of course departing for United back in 2011. Despite not having a winter break in England, De Gea is still remaining optimistic about United’s Champions League hopes, in which he stated:

“Of course, we are really motivated to play in the Champions League and to try to win every game, even though we know it will be difficult.”

The professional mentality being showcased from De Gea is nothing short of a reassuring sign for United fans, as whilst everybody involved at the club would love nothing more than another European trophy in the cabinet, everyone must gradually take each game as it comes. Only time will tell as to whether United will be realistic contenders for the Champions League, but for now, the players must not look too far ahead at the light at the end of the tunnel but focus on what is in front of them instead.

Written by Joshua Gmerek-Iftakhar

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