Keylor Navas gave new head coach Zinedine Zidane something to look forward to in the French legend’s first game as Real Madrid head coach Saturday. The Costa Rican goalie returned to the spectacular form that Madrid fans had gotten used to earlier in the season when he was setting a new club record virtually every game.
In Saturday’s 5-0 dismantling of Deportivo La Coruña, Navas made an excellent save in the 10th minute to keep Deportivo off the board.
Despite a sometimes shaky defense that has plagued Real Madrid in recent games, Navas has been critical in erasing those defensive miscues. In the 79th minute, Navas then made a superb diving save to add some style points to a great performance Saturday.
Zidane, who replaced fired coach Rafael Benítez earlier in the week, is the first Real Madrid head coach since 1959 to win a debut game 5-0. He’ll be tasked with rebuilding the defense and getting more out of a midfield that has looked outclassed against top competition like bitter rival Barcelona.
Navas and Madrid return to action next Sunday, Jan. 17 with a match against Sporting de Gijón, who they tied with in La Liga opener in August. With a 12-4-3 record, Real Madrid remains at third place in La Liga behind Barcelona and crosstown rival Atlético Madrid.
Deportivo La Coruña was without Costa Rican midfielder Celso Borges Saturday, as he is still sidelined with a foot injury he sustained in “La Sele’s” World Cup qualifying match against Haiti in November.