He cried himself to sleep on the transfer deadline day in 2015, disappointed that his efforts were never quite appreciated at Santiago Bernabeu.
But waking up the very next morning to the news that David de Gea’s agreed transfer to Real Madrid collapsed because of the papyrology and missed deadline, Costa Rica international goalkeeper decided to turn the new page and work harder than ever to prove his worth to the Real Madrid hierarchy.
The 30-year-old shot stopper signed a six-year contract with Real Madrid in 2014 which was the biggest prize and acknowledgment of his fantastic FIFA World Cup in Brazil, when Navas kept three clean sheets in five matches and dazzled with a string of fantastic saves and reflexes throughout the tournament with Costa Rica.
Former Levante No. 1 was not exactly the Real Madrid model as he is far from being considered a brand name in football industry.
The marketing potential was low with the new Galagtico, but Navas’ raw qualities were decisive in Los Blancos’ decision to bring him to Santiago Bernabeu – which happens rarely, we might add.
Florentino Perez’s entrepreneurship forces him to look for a whole package in potential Real Madrid players and the marketing aspect of a player will often play a big role in a potential transfer.
In order to become a Galactico you need to possess extraordinary football talent and quality, but also to be a recognizable brand with huge advertising potential. The latter was never there with Keylor Navas, and that is why Costa Rica goalkeeper will never be good enough for Real Madrid.
Never Good Enough
Real Madrid never quite accepted Navas as their long-term choice in goal and regarded him as an interim solution until they found the way to trick Chelsea or Manchester United into handing them either one of the two world’s top keepers – Thibaut Courtois and David de Gea.
Angered by Manchester United’s hesitance and overall behavior after all hell broke loose over a missed deadline on the last day of August in 2015, Real Madrid turned to the Belgium goalkeeper almost in protest, but they were never going to give up the prospect of getting the Spanish star De Gea back to Madrid.
Seen as the natural heir to Iker Casillas’ throne – something Navas never quite got the privilege to experience – David de Gea is once again a target for Los Blancos.
Madrid are once again strongly linked with another move for the Spanish shot stopper, who is believed to be thinking about a move himself as well. There is another De Gea transfer saga coming up this summer that is for sure and there is nothing Keylor Navas could do to prevent it.
And it is not as if he did not try.
He gave his best and even burned in desire on the big Champions League semifinal night at Vicente Kalderon. The Costa Rica international did not exactly cover himself in glory when he pulled a blunder to concede from the penalty spot to Antoine Griezmann.
With Fernando Torres tripped in the area, the French striker was given a big opportunity to put his team two up in a hope for a full comeback later on, whereas it was on Keylor Navas to save his team from additional pressure in the game. The Costa Rican, however, dived under the poorly executed shot but was unable to get a strong enough hand to keep the ball out.
The 30-year-old goalkeeper once again refused to succumb to pressure. He survived being dragged through the dirt during the transfer window in 2015 and refused to be crucified at the brightest European stage on the enemy’s ground.
He pulled himself together and pulled off a string of brilliant saves in the second half to directly help his team go through and making them 4/5 favourites to win the Europe’s elite competition. Top save after another and a particularly important double save towards the end of the match draw plenty of plaudits for the Costa Rican.
He might not be the most fashionable choice for a club such as Real Madrid, but the Costa Rican once again proved he will give his absolute best for his club.
Sadly, that is never enough at Santiago Bernabeu.
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