Keylor Navas has cemented his position as one of the first names on the Real Madrid team-sheet. The Costa Rican custodian has repaid the faith that Zinedine Zidane has shown in him on every occasion this season, with his most recent triumph coming at Riazor. Navas emerged victorious in a personal dual with Deportivo’s Florin Andone, denying the Romanian twice in open play and once more from the penalty spot.
Keylor Navas superb since pre-season
Navas started the season strongly in the European Super Cup victory over Manchester United, but he had already set the tone on Real Madrid’s pre-season tour to the United States.
Although it sounds like a paradoxical statement, Keylor Navas was the stand-out player for Los Blancos as they lost 1-4 to Manchester City. He did superbly well to keep the scoreline down, in the face of constant bombardment from Sergio Agüero and Gabriel Jesús. While some of his team-mates still appear to be grappling for full match fitness, Navas looked ready to go back in July.
“He’s had a pre-season for the first time since I’ve been with him, he’s been good up until now, and he’s really well,” gushed Zidane during the summer.
Zidane said no to De Gea
The French coach’s faith in Navas is such that when Jose Mourinho gave David De Gea the green light to head to the Bernabéu, it was Madrid that applied the brakes.
“We opened the door, but it was them that shut it,” explained the Manchester United boss.
It was Zidane’s decision. He saw no reason to meddle with something so delicate as the goalkeeping position. He feels more than comfortable with Navas; he feels secure.