David De Gea was hailed as the world’s number one goalkeeper after he kept Manchester United on level terms in their Champions League clash with Sevilla.
The Spaniard was at his commanding best and made vital saves to allow United to scrape a 0-0 draw in southern Spain.
De Gea’s former Red Devils team-mate Rio Ferdinand called him “outright the best goalkeeper in the world”, with one save standing out on the night.
Luis Muriel looked certain to score when he was given space to head at goal just before half-time, yet despite making a firm connection from four yards his effort was brilliantly pushed over by De Gea.
“Time and time again he produces saves like this, but the great goalkeepers don’t have to make saves every 10 minutes,” Ferdinand said on BT Sport.
“He can be called upon once in a game and he’s got to be there, it’s that concentration at the top level and he has that in abundance.”
Looking at De Gea’s save from Muriel, Ferdinand added: “The speed of that is phenomenal, breathtaking.”
De Gea joined United from Atletico Madrid in 2011, and Ferdinand admits there were players in Sir Alex Ferguson’s squad at the time who were not convinced early on, with the former England defender suggesting he was among them.
“When he first came, as players we were sitting there with doubts really – ‘We need to win every year, how are we going to do that with a young kid, inexperienced, who looks like he’s lacking confidence?’,” Ferdinand said.
“Where he is today, that’s a sign of someone who’s worked hard and got to where he needs to get.
“I think all round he is the full package.”
Paul Scholes believes De Gea’s saves in Spain will prove vital over the two legs.
Former United midfielder Scholes said: “He’s saved Manchester United so many times and saved them so many points and tonight he’s probably ensured that they’ll go through.”