As Manchester United extend their lead over Manchester City and close in on their fifth title in the last six seasons, goalkeeper David De Gea's improvement since the start of the campaign has been significant. And the 21-year-old Spaniard credits an unusual catalyst for his journey from unreliable laughingstock to vital shot-stopper all in his first season with the club: doughnuts.
"Doughnuts are lifeblood," De Gea told reporters after Manchester United's 2-0 win against Blackburn. "They make my face sticky with power and fill my stomach with confidence and sugar and dough. And I'm guessing some nuts, too. The more doughnuts I eat, the better I play in goal. Except when I eat so many that they make me sick, but that just means I'll feel invincible after I throw up a bit. That happens sometimes."
In September, De Gea was caught eating a Krispy Kreme doughnut by a Tesco CCTV camera before attempting to walk out of the store without paying for it. Though he was stopped by security, he was spared punishment aside from public ridicule. Since then, De Gea performance on the pitch has steadily improved along with Manchester United's place in the table.
"I hide doughnut bites in my gloves and nibble on them during matches," De Gea announced while showing one of his gloves filled with crumbs. "Other goalkeepers don't know how much this helps."
With seven matches left to play, De Gea issued a warning to Man United's wealthy neighbors.
"Other clubs might have more money, but we have more doughnuts," De Gea said defiantly. "And yes, you can use money to buy doughnuts, but they can't buy as many as I can steal. They'll put that quote on my statue one day. Outside a Krispy Kreme shop. In Old Trafford."
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