Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea says he is doing everything he can to compete with the top players in the world.
The 22-year-old enjoyed a standout campaign for the Premier League champions in 2012/13, answering his critics in style with a series of commanding performances between the sticks at Old Trafford.
De Gea is currently on international duty with Spain at the European U21 Championships in Israel, where he reflected on a difficult start to life in England, following his move from Atletico Madrid to Manchester United in 2011, before emphasising his happiness having overcome early problems to blossom this year.
"I have grown a lot," De Gea told Spanish newspaper AS. "I am more experienced, I have played a lot of games for United, and I am sure of myself and confident.
"Of course, I am very grateful for the effort they (United) made to buy me and for the support they gave me. First Atletico, then United trusted in me."
And, as De Gea prepares for tonight's European U21 Championship final against Italy, the Spanish stopper - who was also named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year - has revealed his lofty ambitions of mixing it with the world's best stars for many years to come.
"My objective is to be right up there with the best players in the world," he added. "That's what makes me excited, and I'm doing everything I can to achieve that.
"I am playing at a very high level. I have had one year playing well but I'm still very young. I think that I still have a way to go before I reach the level of the best in the world."
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