Wes Brown: 'I hope De Gea stays at United as long as possible'

The former Manchester United footballer hopes that the club's current goalkeeper David de Gea continues his allegiance with the Old Trafford outfit for years to come.

Former Manchester United football player Wes Brown during a promotional event in Bengaluru.   -  Special Arrangement

Former Manchester United footballer Wes Brown expressed hope that the club's current goalkeeper David de Gea continues his allegiance with the Old Trafford outfit for years to come. The talks surrounding De Gea's future with United persists with interest from La Liga giant Real Madrid refusing to die down.

Earlier in the day, United manager Jose Mourinho told the media that Spanish shot-stopper will remain at the club next season.

The news will come as a welcome relief for the club's supporters and Brown.

READ: I have to win trophies at Man United, says De Gea

Brown, who spent 15 trophy-laden years at United, said, “He is an unbelievable talent. You have seen in recent games how good he was. I just hope he stays as long as possible with Manchester United. I think he is the best goalkeeper in the world. It would have been difficult to leave him out of the starting line-up even during my time.”

The Englishman was in the city as part of an 'Old Trafford experience' - a recreation of Manchester's iconic stadium at Orion Mall on Friday.

The defender picked out the 1998-99 Champions League triumph as the best moment of his career, despite being an unused substitute as a 19-year-old in the final against Bayern Munich.

Under former manager Sir Alex Ferguson, United completed a unique treble of clinching the Premier League, FA Cup and the Champions League in the 1998-99 season.

Brown would later go onto start in the 2007-08 final against Chelsea.

“It’s up there (2008 win), its close. It is just the feeling everyone had after the final in 1999, thinking about the scenario as to how we won it was special. Obviously the final in 2008, I played against Chelsea was special too. We were a great bunch of lads; it was like a family. The whole season got perfect,” said Brown.

In the 2008 final, Brown provided the cross from which Cristiano Ronaldo headed in the opening goal. United won its third CL title in a penalty shoot-out, after the match ended 1-1.

“We practiced that move a week (Brown's assist) or two before the final. Because, we knew Michael Essien would start at right-back, and, Ronaldo was very good in the air,” the Englishman said.

Brown, also, revealed disappointment in his former side Sunderland's second successive relegation from the  Premier League.

"I am absolutely gutted. I don’t think they have got the players they wanted at the start of the season. And they had to deal with a lot of injuries as well. It’s very disappointing as well for my former United team-mate John O’Shea, who is still there,” said Brown.

Brown, recently, plied his trade at Indian Super League club Kerala Blasters. He felt Indian football must continue to improve its standards.

“It (ISL) is four-years-old. When I joined I knew it would be different. I enjoyed my time at Kerala. The lads were great, they understand the game. It’s not the premier league, its different. Hopefully, they can increase the standards through the years,” he observed.

The 38-year-old is hopeful of extending his stay at the Blasters. "I have a meeting with the manager (David James) in a couple of weeks. I want to play football for as long as I can," he said.

Brown, who was part of England’s 2002 World Cup squad in South Korea and Japan, hoped that the class of 2018 would solely focus on the job at hand when Gareth Southgate’s men take the field in Russia.

“I always want them to do well. We have qualified pretty easily. A lot of it will be down to mentality as well when we get there in Russia. I think they will do ok but they need the little bit of luck as well," he concluded.

The writer was in Bengaluru on invitation from Uber

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