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Why Keylor Navas Deserves To Be Called One Of The Greatest Goalkeepers In The 21st Century

Keylor Navas started his youth career at Saprissa in his home country of Costa Rica, where he won six Liga FFD titles and the CONCACAF Champions League.

Keylor Navas was also part of the Saprissa team that finished in third place at the 2005 FIFA Club World Championship.

In the 2011/2012 campaign, Keylor Navas joined Levante in La Liga. He initially joined as a backup, and it was only until the 2013/2014 season that he became the first-choice goalkeeper and soon after he won the award for the best goalkeeper in La Liga for the 2013/2014 season.

He finished the season as the goalkeeper with the most saves (267) in La Liga, finishing fourth in the Zamora Trophy (prize given to the goalkeeper in La Liga with the lowest goal to games ratio) conceding 39 goals in 36 games despite playing for a lower-ranked team.

Keylor Navas' ticket to fams was the extraordinary campaign Costa Rica had at the 2014 World Cup, being in the group of death with England, Italy and Uruguay, Costa Rica shocked the world by finishing first, with Keylor Navas being their best player and keeping two clean sheets.

Keylor Navas also got Man of the Match in their Round of 16 match against Greece, as Costa Rica won via penalties, with Navas making a save in the shootout. Although he lost versus the Netherlands in the quarterfinals, Navas once again won Man of the Match, becoming the first goalkeeper ever to win 3 MOTMs in a single World Cup.

His exploits in the World Cup got him a dream move to Real Madrid, where he was initially understudied to Iker Casillas, before making the number one spot his own. Soon after, he was an integral part of the famous Real Madrid 3-peat team, who won the UEFA Champions League 3 years in a row.

However, Keylor Navas was never revered as a big player by Real Madrid. In 2015, he was part of an exchange deal with Manchester United for David De Gea, which only fell through because the documents were not submitted to FIFA before the Spanish transfer deadline.

Then in the 2018/2019 season, even though Keylor Navas won the UEFA Best Goalkeeper of the Season award the previous season, he was effectively replaced by Thibaut Courtois as the number one.

Keylor Navas is, in my opinion, one of the best goalkeepers of our generation. However, he is underappreciated by the clubs he is in, even after putting in great performances. These clubs might not rate him, but I know football fans like us will always hold him in high regard.

Photo Credit: Google, Getty Images.

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CONCACAF Champions League England Italy Keylor Navas Uruguay


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