Keylor Navas has enjoyed a brilliant season. He played a key role in Real Madrid's conquest of the Champions League, pulling out decisive saves against Atlético de Madrid and Juventus; and he was also crucial in helping the team to win the club's 33rd league crown.
Keylor Navas was rejected by all of Spain's top clubs a decade ago
But his agent has revealed that it could all have turned out very differently for the goalkeeper, who was forced to deal with wave after wave of rejections when he was first offered to clubs in Spain's top division. Ricardo Cabañas explained in an interview with Costa Rican television programme Encuentro Deportivo that it proved a struggle to convince Spanish sides of the keeper's potential.
“I came here (to Costa Rica) in 2008 after watching some videos which [Luis] Gabelo Conejo had given me, and I spent a fortnight watching the national team's training sessions. I was watching a video of a match between DC United and Saprissa - it was amazing and I thought to myself, 'Who's that keeper? I was spellbound by him”, Cabañas explained.
After watching Keylor at work with the national team, the agent thought: “All I have to do is put him between three sticks in Spain”. Cabañas went on to say that he sent copies of videos featuring Keylor to Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atlético de Madrid but to no avail: “I gave all of them detailled reports and videos and all of them turned me down”. Cabañas added that one of Pep Guardiola's assistants told him that Navas would never end up at a big club in Europe: “He's a great keeper, Ricardo, but no one is going to sign a goalkeeper from Costa Rica - at least no big club...”