Keylor Navas commits future to Real Madrid, to fight for place
Written by: Neil Talnikar
Since his arrival in 2014, the Costa Rican has been an integral part of the Spanish capital club.
Keylor Navas, Real Madrid’s Costa Rican goalkeeper has vowed to stay at the Spanish club amid speculation suggesting a potential move away. Navas told Spanish media outlet Onda Cero that he is firm with his decision to stay at Madrid. “I have the same desire to leave as to die,” said the 31-year-old keeper.
Navas joined Real Madrid in 2014, after a wonderful display at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil. He remained second-choice for a season behind veteran Iker Casillas. Following the latter’s sorrowful departure in 2015, Navas finally became the first-choice keeper. Since then, the Costa Rican has had an impressive stint with Los Blancos, keeping 24-clean-sheets in his 94 appearances in La Liga.
However, the signing of Thibaut Courtois, naturally brought with it speculation over Navas’ future. Courtois, who will be succeeded by the new world-record signing Kepa Arrizabalaga at Chelsea, expressed a strong desire to leave London in the summer. Thus, after the announcement of Kepa's move from Athletic Bilbao to Chelsea, Madrid signed Courtois for a reported fee of €35m. Madrid, who are reported to have been facing an exodus following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, were interested in the Belgian shot-stopper for quite some time.
At 26, Courtois has always been a top-class keeper, whether it be at Chelsea or Atletico Madrid. Since his return from a loan spell at Atletico in 2014, the keeper has been phenomenal for the Blues, keeping 48 clean-sheets across 126 appearances in all competitions. The 1.99 metres tall goalkeeper flourished between the sticks, during his loan stint in Spain as well as in England. No wonder the young man has been on the radar of Real Madrid for months.
The arrival of Courtois from Chelsea leaves new Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui with two high-profile goalkeepers. As stated by Onda Cero, Lopetegui has always been delighted with Navas, who has the support of the heavyweights of the dressing room. Also, as Navas has confirmed his intention to stay and fight for his place in the team, the competition becomes tough for both the glovesmen.
Published: Thu Aug 09, 2018 07:08 PM IST