Keylor Navas: An unsung Real Madrid hero up against his former team

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The goalkeeper was decisive for Madrid in each of their last three Champions League wins and yet had to leave the Bernabeau unceremoniously...

Keylor Navas had to finally bid adieu to Real Madrid after he sealed a move to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) on the transfer deadline day with France international Alphonse Areola moving in the opposite direction. 

In spite of putting in numerous decisive performances in a Real Madrid shirt, the Costa Rican failed to garner unflinching support from the offices at the Santiago Bernabeau. President Florentino Perez has always wanted to rope in Manchester United's David De Gea and if it was not for the fax machine fiasco, then he would have left for Manchester United back in 2015. 

However, Navas has proved his mettle time and again and at pivotal moments for the Los Blancos but his heroics were never enough to satisfy the top brass at Real Madrid. He won four Club World Cup trophies, three Champions League titles, three UEFA Super Cups and one La Liga and a Spanish Super Cup before finally leaving the club unceremoniously after falling down the pecking order to new recruit Thibaut Courtois. 

During his stay at Madrid, he showed unwavering perseverance and rose above any crisis, injury and criticism. Keylor Navas, Real Madrid v Liverpool, 2018

Even the best make mistakes, but they know how to put them in the past and prepare for the future by believing in one's abilities. And the life of a goalkeeper has always been a bit harder. Iker Casillas once said, "Being a good person is like a goalkeeper, it doesn't matter how many you save, people will always remember the ones you didn't." 

Every mistake Keylor Navas made provided Perez an opportunity to sound out the possible signing of De Gea, which Zidane had vehemently opposed during his first stint as Madrid's manager. During every transfer window Madrid would be linked to another world-class keeper and it would be made evident that Navas was not valued at Madrid. 

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Yet, the former Levante keeper would keep his head down and focus on answering his critics on the field. He also made significant improvements in his footwork as in Madrid he would be expected to play out from the back, a role that he had to seldom perform for Levante or Costa Rica

With Real Madrid, set to face PSG in Matchday one of the Champions League this season, Navas would not have to wait long to go up against in former team-mates. Only time will tell if he will make an impact and prove a point to Real Madrid.

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