At the start of the season, Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas was making the spectacular look routine in front of the net. Though he clearly spoiled Madrid fans and proud Costa Rican supporters with his record-breaking start, he had to level off at some point. In recent weeks, under new coach Zinedine Zidane, Navas and the club have picked up their play to try to get back atop the La Liga standings.
In the 18th minute of a league match against Atlético Bilbao on Saturday, Navas made an incredible save when a Bilbao cross set up veteran forward Aritz Aduriz for a header that was going straight for the goal. Navas’ quick response to deny the goal is a thing of beauty reminiscent of his saves that fans had grown so accustomed to earlier this season.
Navas and Real Madrid beat Bilbao 4-2, in a win highlighted by early goals from star forwards Cristiano Ronaldo and James Rodríguez. Madrid has temporarily lifted itself into second place in La Liga behind bitter rival Barcelona, although cross-town foe Atlético Madrid could regain its spot at No. 2 if it beats Getafe tomorrow.
Los Merengues are now 15-5-3 on the season and have five wins and one draw in six games under Zidane, following the dismissal of former manager Rafael Benitez in early January.
Navas and Madrid will next take the pitch on Wednesday when Champions League Round of 16 play begins. Real will kick off against Italian power Roma at 1:45 p.m. Costa Rican time.