Star goalie Keylor Navas will be the first Costa Rican to play for storied club Real Madrid.
The Spanish club announced a six-year deal Sunday, after paying a €10 million ($13.5 million) buyout clause to Navas’ prior team Levante. Real Madrid will hold an official press conference for Navas on Tuesday.
The World Cup hero is not guaranteed the starting role with Real Madrid — a club that has won 32 titles in its 112-year history. Navas will compete with Spain national team keeper Iker Casillas for the first-string spot. But Casillas, a former Golden Glove winner, is coming off a disastrous World Cup performance and his best days might be behind him. Casillas had another poor showing Saturday in a 3-1 friendly loss to Manchester United.
Navas, 27, led Costa Rica to the quarterfinals of the World Cup for the first time thanks to his head-turning performances in goal with the Ticos. He saved 21 of 23 (91 percent) shots on target in Brazil, and Costa Rica reached the quarterfinals after he stymied Greece in penalty kicks.
The Tico completed a record-breaking year with Levante last season, leading many to believe he would be a transfer target for a top European club. After his World Cup display, Navas has earned the chance to compete for one of the top clubs in the world.