Sunday, November 19, 2017

Navas not ready to let go of Madrid number one spot

SoccerNews in La Liga 18 Jul 2017

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Keylor Navas is ready to remain with Real Madrid “for many years to come” despite the Spanish and European champions being regularly linked with moves for other goalkeepers.

Navas inherited the Madrid number one shirt after Iker Casillas left to join Porto ahead of the 2015-16 season, although a key factor in the Costa Rica international retaining his spot was the club failing to get a move for Manchester United’s David de Gea over the line on deadline day.

Madrid have continued to be linked with De Gea since, while a move for AC Milan sensation Gianluigi Donnarumma hit the buffers when the 18-year-old penned an new contract at San Siro.

Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois is also a rumoured target but Navas is focused upon matters on the field, having overcome a string of errors to finish last season strongly as Zinedine Zidane’s side triumphed at home and abroad.

“What happened in the past has happened. This season I am happy, I am calm as always,” the 30-year-old told reporters at Madrid’s pre-season training base in California.

“I have to keep my feet on the ground. It’s not easy here. I want to stay here for many years to come

“I’ve enjoyed it, I’ve won here and I’ve seen my family so happy here.

“It’s not just about [learning from] errors – that’s not going to limit me in how I look to keep improving.”

Navas baulked at the suggestion put to him by one journalist that he has come in for extra attention from boss Zinedine Zidane since returning to training.

“My relationship with the coach hasn’t changed since he came here. It’s a bit ridiculous saying he’s showing me extra affection – he’s always been like that with me,” he said.

“He always shows all of us a lot of confidence, he is very close to all the players. I haven’t noticed any difference in the behaviour of him or his coaching staff.”

A resounding 4-1 win over Juventus in Cardiff made Madrid the first team in the Champions League era to win back-to-back titles and Navas feels it is natural his team-mates should have the club’s 13th triumph in Europe’s top competition in their sights.

“We have to be conscious of the fact it’s difficult to win two Champions Leagues in a row but we start from zero again,” he added. “We have a lot of confidence in the team and in the coaching staff.

“We are not thinking about us having already won two. This is a new tournament and we have the same excitement as we had before.

“We will work hard and have confidence. We have talent, a good team spirit and that can help us win another Champions League title.”

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