regular-article-logo Thursday, 28 September 2023

Ignored Keylor Navas cherished by country

Costa Rica goalkeeper has fallen down the pecking order at PSG after the arrival of Gianluigi Donnarumma

Reuters San Jose (Costa Rica) Published 05.11.22, 04:52 AM
Representational image.

Representational image. File photo

Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas’s preparations for the World Cup have been far from ideal without any appearances so far for Paris St Germain this season but the national side’s captain is the first name on coach Luis Fernando Suarez’s team-sheet.

Navas has fallen down the pecking order at PSG after the arrival of Gianluigi Donnarumma while injury kept him out of the team when he was expected to take over from the Italy number one in the Champions League.


At 35, Navas will be playing at his last World Cup and, even though he did not make the squad for their international friendlies in September, Suarez made it clear that the shot-stopper who helped guide them to Qatar was “undroppable”.

“The least I have to be testing is Keylor Navas,” Suarez said. “I take this (his absence for friendlies) as a possibility to see goalkeepers for the future.”

Navas’ experience was key to Costa Rica’s Concacaf World Cup qualifying campaign as the veteran commanded his box and kept seven clean sheets in 13 appearances as they conceded only eight times – the joint second-best record after Canada.

He also made numerous saves in the inter-confederation playoff against New Zealand in a nervy 1-0 win to seal their spot for Qatar, with a heavily criticised Suarez vindicated for sticking with Costa Rica’s old warhorse.

This will be Navas’ third World Cup. Navas once said he had decided he would be a keeper aged five and he did not lack the determination to get to the top, winning La Liga’s best goalkeeper award with Levante.

"There are no airs and graces about him. He never goes off and does his own thing or does things differently to the rest of the team. No, he’s focused,” Suarez said.

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