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Villarreal goalkeeper Rulli has sympathy for De Gea after Man Utd penalty flop

Villarreal goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli says he had sympathy for David de Gea after last season's Europa League final victory against Manchester United.

After the match went to penalties, Rulli saved the decisive spotkick from De Gea to see Villarreal win in Gdansk.

Ahead of tonight's Champions League reunion, the Argentine said: "I would have preferred for the shoot-out to end before, and for me to stop any of the kicks instead of the keeper's.

"We do the same job and it's a thankless one sometimes. I know how a goalkeeper suffers so I would have preferred to stop a kick from an outfield player."

Of his own successful penalty he recalls not even realising it was his turn: "I remember the previous penalty from [Victor] Lindelof and I was upset because I'd got a touch to it without stopping it.

"I had lost count, with so many penalties taken, and when I was walking away from the goal the referee said to me: 'Keeper, it's your turn to take'.

"It first I did a double take: Me? Are you sure no one has been missed out? Then from the moment I took the ball all I was thinking about was hitting the back of the net.

"I'd never practiced taking a penalty myself beyond messing around in training with a team-mate.

"It was a case of hit it hard and try to get it high. Hard and high, exactly what us goalkeepers don't like. I hit it with all that I had left, my heart and soul. And luckily it went in."


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