Newcastle star opens up on 'offensive abuse' after signing for Man Utd

Martin Dubravka has opened up on the online abuse he suffered after moving from Newcastle to Manchester United last summer.

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Following the arrival of Nick Pope from Burnley, Dubravka opted to join United on loan from Newcastle and serve as David de Gea’s No.2, where he would arguably have a better chance of playing given their involvement in the Europa League.

However, Erik ten Hag only handed the goalkeeper two appearances in the Carabao Cup before it was announced that the 34-year-old’s loan had been cut short and he returned to St. James’ Park in January.

Ironically, the Slovakia international picked up a Carabao Cup winner’s medal after the Red Devils beat the Magpies in the final in February, a game that Dubravka could have played in after Pope was suspended but was ineligible to do so having been cup-tied by his appearances for United.

However, Dubravka has now revealed his shock at some of the abusive messages that he and his family received from a minority of Newcastle supporters following his switch to Old Trafford, which forced him to delete his Twitter account.

He told the Mirror: ‘Some [of the messages] were very harsh. Some of them were very offensive, to my family and myself.

‌’I was thinking: “Do I deserve this, after five years being here, trying to do my best for the club?”. But that’s football. Not everyone can love you. That’s not this world.

‘Twitter? The abuse there. I didn’t expect that. But there was the other side of the fans who appreciated the time I’ve spent here, and they showed me love even when I came back.’

Dubravka joined Newcastle in January 2018 and was an instant hit on Tyneside, playing a big part in their battles against relegation prior to the Saudi-backed takeover last season, winning the club’s player of the year award in 2020.

‘To be in Manchester was a big challenge, it is a huge club, a huge fan base, but this is my home,’ he added.

‘I’d always given my best for Newcastle, for the fans. I stayed in the bad times, when I had opportunities to leave the club, to go for another challenge.

‘The last four and a half years we’d been fighting relegation, and I stuck with the club and I thought the fans would appreciate that and maybe understand my new situation.

‘They are the best fans and they give a lot to the team, and they want loyalty back from the players. But as I said I’ve been loyal to the club for five years – I stuck with the club through bad times when we really struggled and needed points.

‘I refused to leave at that time when other clubs made offers for me. I always said this is the place where I found great people, my home. They deserve success. My son was born here and is a Geordie. I’m very attached to the club.’

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