David de Gea is a Spanish goalkeeper for Manchester United and the Spain national team. He’s regarded by many as the best goalkeeper in the world, and was the first player to win the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year Award for three consecutive years. He will represent Spain at the 2018 World Cup.
De Gea’s time on the field will undoubtedly lead people to question his relationship status. According to Daily Star, he is currently dating Spanish singer and actress Edurne Garcia. They met in 2010, and have since gained notoriety as one of the most popular (and at times, controversial) celebrity couples in Spain.
Here’s what you need to know about Edurne Garcia:
1. She Has Released Chart-Topping Singles in Spain
Garcia, 32, is best known for her singing career. She released her debut album in 2006, which went on to spawn the hit single “Despierta.” She’s released five studio albums since, which have all performed respectably on the Spanish pop charts. Some of her most popular singles include “Ven Por Mi“, “Soy Como Soy” and “Sigo Enamorada de Ti.” The latter is a cover of the Grease song “Hopelessly Devoted to You”, as Garcia played the role of Sandy in a stage production of Grease from 2007 to 2013.
In 2015, Garcia was chosen as the Spanish representative in the Eurovision Song Contest, where she performed “Amanecer.” She went on to finish 21st overall, but the song, and the accompanying album, Adrenalina, were very popular as a result.
According to Escape News, Garcia has received comparisons to U.S. pop stars like Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Madonna throughout her career, particularly with crossover singles like “Pretty Boy” and “Painkiller.” Garcia also sang a cover of the song “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes” for the 2015 Disney film Cinderella.
In an interview with Ogae Serbia, Garcia stated that language does not factor into the quality of her music. “When I was a little girl, Whitney Houston had a lot of influence on me, and her song, “I Will Always You Love” especially”, she said. “I don’t think the language is important for a great result. What’s really important is the song and what you transmit with it. Music is a universal language.”
2. She’s Been a Judge on ‘Got Talent Espana’ Since 2016
In addition to being a popular singer, Garcia has had a lengthy career as an actress and TV personality. She made her screen debut on the Spanish soap opera Hospital Central in 2002, and has since appeared in over a dozen dramas and reality shows.
She hosted Todo va bien for 110 episodes in 2014, and was a cast member on the third season of Tu Cara Me Suena, where singers do celebrity impressions for charity. Garcia’s impression of Christina Aguilera singing “Hurt” is one of the show’s most popular.
Garcia’s most prominent role has been as a judge on Got Talent Espana. She’s been with the show since 2016, and she prides herself on her ability to be honest and blunt with contestants.
“The advice I give to all the contestants and everyone who goes to a casting is to be yourself” she told Diario De Navarra, “to know that you do well and not to let yourself be carried away by the opinions of others, including your closest environment. It is also important not to give in to illusion and enjoy it, because that is transmitted.”
Garcia also discussed how being a performer can be an emotionally taxing profession. “I had many criticisms, positive and negative, and that marked me before and after as a person when it comes to trusting in myself and doing what I really like”, she explained. “We artists are very exposed to people and their opinions, so it is easy to lose that security in some moments. Still, I am very optimistic and it happens to me very little.”
3. She Was Criticized for Comparing Manchester to the ‘Back of a Fridge’
Garcia caused quite a stir in the sports community when she spoke about David de Gea’s time with Manchester United. On the talk show El Hormiguero, Garcia agreed with host Pablo Motos when he said that Manchester is “uglier than the back of a fridge.” “It’s not very nice, that’s for sure”, she said, “You have to hunt out specific places, the nicer places. But even then Spain is nicer. The reason I like it is because David’s there. With him being there, everything looks wonderful.”
Garcia’s views led to intense backlash from the Manchester community, and city spokesman Pat Karney went as far as to issue a response, saying: “The only thing Manchester has in common with a fridge is that it’s really cool. We attract millions of visitors a year who flock here for our nightlife and celebrations.”
Garcia later retracted her statement in a TV interview. “They put words in my mouth, I haven’t said that”, she explained. “I don’t know if they are seeking out the news or they want to be controversial. I am delighted with Manchester, I love it and the city has wonderful corners.”
Garcia also revealed that Karney offered to show her around Manchester. “There’s a councilman who wants to show me around the city”, she said, “and I am delighted to know more wonderful corners of Manchester.”
4. She Had a Major Knee Surgery in January
Earlier in the year, Garcia underwent an extensive knee surgery. She posted a photo of herself with a bandaged leg on Instagram with the caption: “I start the year with an operation on my knee that was pending!! It has gone very well and will be like new!! Thank you all for the messages of love!” Garcia did not reveal the details of the surgery, of why she needed it, but she did say that it had been planned for quite some time.
Despite her prominence as a celebrity, Garcia has made a point of keeping her personal life hidden from her fans. Neither she nor David de Gea have spoken about how they met, or what their life is like together, and the only time they are photographed together is whey they walk around Manchester or Spain. “It is difficult to open up as a woman”, she told Diario de Navarra. “But we have put the little foot and I hope that little by little we will be valued just like our companions.”
When asked about the autobiography of her colleague “OT” Chenoa and whether she would be interested in doing something similar, Garcia said no. “Knowing myself, I do not think I did it”, she admitted, “I am very much my own and I like to take care of my privacy.”
5. She’s Been Blamed for De Gea’s Potential Move to Real Madrid
Reports dating back to 2015 have suggested that David de Gea would like to transfer from Manchester United to Real Madrid. Garcia, who lives in Madrid, was largely seen as the reason why. The Independent reports that de Gea was swayed by Garcia’s pleas to transfer, so that they could live together and she could continue to advance her career as a singer and actress.
The transfer nearly happened in September 2015, but it fell through when Manchester and Madrid failed to come to a financial agreement. Garcia’s Twitter account was swamped with Manchester fans who trolled the singer, according to the Mirror.
That said, rumors of de Gea’s transfer have resurfaced in recent weeks, and Garcia’s activities seems to support it. Caught Off Side reports that she was house-hunting in Madrid in February, and she posted a cryptic video on her Instagram story of her driving through the rain with the caption: “Madrid or Manchester?” The video included a photo of actor Will Smith looking confused.
Fans continue to cite Garcia as the cause of de Gea’s possible transfer. Daily Star reported that Manchester fans even took to leaving comments on Garcia’s Instagram to put in a good word for their team. “Stay in United as long as you can”, wrote one user. Garcia has not responded to any of these comments.
When asked about his team status, de Gea told Metro that he’s happy wherever he is able to win. “I don’t know if I’ll be the goalkeeper at Real Madrid, what I do know is that I’m very happy in Manchester”, he said, “What I want is to win titles, like every other player.”