David de Gea a strong contender to replace me, says Iker Casillas

Iker Casillas and David de Gea of Spain look on during a training session
Image: Iker Casillas (left) and David de Gea (right) are vying to start for Spain against the Czech Republic

Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas believes David de Gea is "a strong contender" to start at Euro 2016.

Casillas, of Porto, has been the country's first-choice keeper since 2002, but De Gea has enjoyed another impressive season for Manchester United.

It has provided Spain coach Vicente del Bosque with a selection headache and he has admitted he has not yet decided who will be his No 1 goalkeeper at the tournament. 

De Gea made his senior debut in June 2014 in an international friendly and was included in Spain's World Cup squad but did not feature.

Vicente Del Bosque is pleased with how Euro 2016 preparations are going
Image: Vicente del Bosque has a big decision to make

He has made eight appearances for Spain but only started in three Euro 2016 qualifiers for the European champions, with Casillas the preferred No 1 in the last two years.

"De Gea is no longer the future but a strong contender," Casillas told Cadena Cope radio.

"It's clear that all of us that are here, we think that we can play.

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"We are 23 players that play as starters for important clubs and we all believe that we can help the national team, but deciding who starts is the coach's job."

Del Bosque will not make a decision of who will play between the posts until June 13, when his team begins their European Championship campaign against the Czech Republic in Toulouse.

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Del Bosque did confirm that De Gea will start against Georgia in Tuesday's friendly in Getafe, although Casillas started against South Korea in last week's 6-1 triumph.

Asked if he thinks he will start at Euro 2016, Casillas said: "That is a question for Del Bosque."

However, Casillas says that there is a healthy competition in the team.

"What I really like is that, besides being 35, I have the same hunger, enthusiasm and I continue to compete," he said.

"Now I'm with De Gea and with [Sevilla goalkeeper] Sergio Rico and it's going well."

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