Friday, November 16, 2018

Navas has Solari´s respect and admiration despite being dropped

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 7 Nov 2018

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Santiago Solari assured Keylor Navas has all his respect and admiration despite replacing him with Thibaut Courtois for Real Madrid’s Champions League match at Viktoria Plzen.

Navas started Madrid’s three European fixtures under previous boss Julen Lopetegui but was among the substitutes for the commanding 5-0 victory that sent the reigning champions top of Group G.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Costa Rica goalkeeper posted a bible verse to his Instagram account that included the phrase: “Blessed is the man who trusts in me, whose confidence is in me.”

Speaking to Movistar following the triumph over Plzen, Solari said of starting Courtois: “It’s a decision I’ve made.

“But I have to say that Keylor is a man and has all my admiration as a footballer and respect as a man.”

Karim Benzema scored a fine solo effort to open the scoring and take his Madrid tally to 200, and he added another as Casemiro, Gareth Bale and Toni Kroos also got on the scoresheet.

“You can’t ask for much more. The team has done it. The players scored spectacular goals and were very serious,” said Solari, who made it three wins on the bounce without conceding. 

“We’ve done a lot of things well [in his three matches], but above all I see the seriousness and the desire to score. So many can be scored with players of such quality.

“If you win 5-0 there will be applause. All matches are different, you have to continue working with humility, sacrifice and ambition for your objectives and think about the next game.

“The players are the ones who have achieved this and they are the ones who deserve credit for the victory.”

Plzen defender Lukas Hejda noticed a marked difference in Madrid from their first meeting in Spain, when Lopetegui oversaw a 2-1 victory.

“Real did not underestimate us from the very first moment and they were a bit more aggressive than in Madrid,” said Hejda.

“We conceded four goals in the first half and the match was over. Real proved their quality. We conceded three goals after set-pieces which were a bit cheap.

“But we still wanted to play forwards, we did not want to only defend.”

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