After an offseason filled with transfer rumors involving his name, Costa Rica’s Keylor Navas had fans buzzing again Saturday when the Real Madrid faithful at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium chanted his name during Madrid’s 5-0 win over league rival Real Betis.
Navas’ acrobatic effort to stop a penalty kick in the 60th minute helped Los Merengues keep their opponents scoreless on the young season following last week’s 0-0 tie with Sporting Gijón.
The Costa Rican goalkeeper started off his brilliant home debut by putting a stop to a promising goal-scoring opportunity for Real Betis when he dove out of the box to steal the ball from the striker’s feet.
Goals from a trio of Madrid’s expensive set of forwards – Gareth Bale, James Rodríguez, and Karim Benzema – put the game out of reach early on for the overwhelmed Betis, beginning with Bale’s second minute goal.
But “San Keylor,” who remains the team’s best option at goalie, was not to be outdone by his teammates. In the second half, Navas made an excellent diving save on Rubén Castro’s penalty kick that made Santiago Bernabéu Stadium erupt in cheers.
Constant rumors linking Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea to his hometown club still persist despite Navas’ dominant play thus far. ESPN reported Saturday that Manchester may offer De Gea 65 million euros in a trade for Bale at the last-minute before the transfer deadline ends on Tuesday.