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Featured Image Credit: PA/Instagram
Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea has posted for the first time after missing the decisive penalty in the team's Europa League final loss.
De Gea was picked ahead of Dean Henderson in goal for the final against Villarreal in Gdansk on Wednesday night, after the two men had spent the season switching roles.
It was a largely quiet night for the Spain keeper, who had to get the ball out of the goal in the first half when Villarreal opened the scoring, until the game went to a penalty shootout.
The keeper saw the Spanish side knock all 11 of their penalties past him, including fellow keeper Geronimo Rulli, before having his saved.
De Gea has now taken to Instagram to say, "To fall and rise. Learn from the experience, fight again and win. Thanks for your support."
The picture the former Atletico Madrid keeper posted was of him and former manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who brought him to Old Trafford, from Wednesday night.
Fergie was in Poland to hand out the medals to the players and he waited for De Gea after handing out the runners up medals, consoled the keeper and talked to him.
There has been talk of the 30-year-old potentially leaving Old Trafford, with the emergence of Henderson in the past year.
Tom Heaton is returning to the club on a free this summer and they've also been linked with a move for AC Milan's Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Devastation for David De Gea :tired_face:
A penalty shoot-out that went all the way to the goalkeepers, but it was Villarreal that came out on top in the end...
What a dramatic ending! #UELfinal pic.twitter.com/9kmoi6lCEa
- Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 26, 2021
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer received plenty of criticism from fans for his in game management, which included making substitutions.
The United boss still had one left ahead of the shoot-out and many had called on him to change the goalkeeper, following the move from Louis van Gaal who famously brought on Tim Krul to save penalties.
Solskjaer admitted after the loss that he considered bringing Henderson on and acknowledged that De Gea had a poor record in shootouts.
With hindsight, the manager may well have saved De Gea a lot of pain.