After four games as the starter for Real Madrid, keeper Keylor Navas has yet to allow a single goal. The Costa Rican helped his club to a 4-0 victory over Ukraine’s Shaktar Donetsk to begin Champions League play Tuesday, adding to an already historic streak. Navas is now the first goalie in the 113-year history of Real Madrid to begin a season with four consecutive shutouts.
Navas also remains the only goalkeeper in Spain’s La Liga to have not given up a goal. However, his scoreless streak was in jeopardy on two occasions Tuesday. With just a minute left in stoppage time, Shaktar offered up a would-be goal towards the net, but the acrobatic Navas leaped up to deflect the ball at the last second.
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Navas’ historic play comes on the heels of the club’s botched transfer attempt for Manchester United goalie David De Gea, as club president Florentino Pérez was ready to ship away the Costa Rican in exchange for the Spaniard De Gea. The 28-year-old goalie has remained professional throughout the process and has now brought one of the most decorated clubs in football history to new heights.
Though he seems to remain perpetually unaffected, disaster nearly struck in the first period of the Champions League affair when a pass from a teammate clanged off of Navas’ shoe and almost rolled into the corner of the goal. Call it Costa Rican Independence Day luck, but whatever it was, it kept Navas with a clean sheet in his third Champions League start.
Navas and Real Madrid return to La Liga play on Saturday when they take on Granada in a game that will kickoff at 8 a.m. Costa Rican time.