WATCH: Keylor Navas makes soaring save in Saturday’s Madrid Derby

February 27, 2016

The next time manager Zinedine Zidane and Real Madrid send keeper Keylor Navas onto the field, they should give him a cape. It felt like it was the only thing missing after another Superman-performance from the Costa Rican star on Saturday against Atlético Madrid.

It’s no secret that Real Madrid’s backline has been the weak link for Los Merengues all season, and that Navas has been asked repeatedly to bail out the defense with incredible saves. Despite a 1-0 loss to the intra-city rival, Navas did all he could to keep a blank slate in Saturday’s crucial battle for second place in La Liga.

In the 40th minute of the Madrid Derby, star Atlético forward Antoine Griezmann broke through Madrid’s porous backfield and made an admirable strike on goal. But Griezmann’s attempt, like so many would-be goals from Real Madrid opponents all season, was denied when Navas soared through the air to make a spectacular stop.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKojAaemYjc

A minute later, Atlético broke through Madrid’s defense again as striker Koké gained the corner on midfielder Luka Modric and sent a shot with a clear path towards the net. Again, Navas was there just in time to swallow up the ball and deny the cross-town rivals of a goal.

Atlético was finally able to get past Navas in the 53rd minute when Brazilian Filipe Luís penetrated Real’s disjointed defense and set up a beautiful assist for Griezmann, who rocketed in the game’s only goal.

Madrid was threatened again in the 66th minute when Juanfran spun his way into the box and left a golden opportunity for Atlético to score. Again, Navas had to come out to take away the ball from Saúl Ñiguez as Real’s defense looked lost and confused.

With the loss, Madrid remains farther away from the top spot in La Liga, where rival Barcelona has a controlling, nine-point lead. On the other side, Atlético Madrid’s win has increased its hold on second place with a four-point cushion over Real.

Even with Navas’ absurd play, constant rumors continue to pour out of Spain that eccentric owner Florentino Pérez still intends to trade Navas for Manchester United keeper and Spain-native David De Gea. The club tried to make the trade in August during the last transfer window, but came minutes short of faxing in the paperwork.

The 29-year-old Navas has responded by turning in one of the best campaigns of any goalkeeper on the planet this season, breaking multiple club and world records in the process. He was named as one of the top five goalkeepers in the world by a players-only poll taken by FIFA and named as the 67th best football player by The Guardian.

You may be interested

Costa Rica, Brazil battle rumors of tension and injury before high-stakes matchup
World Cup 2018
53 views
World Cup 2018
53 views

Costa Rica, Brazil battle rumors of tension and injury before high-stakes matchup

AFP and The Tico Times - June 19, 2018

The stakes couldn't be higher: if Costa Rica loses to its opponent on Friday, it will be out of the…

3 attractive areas for expat living in Costa Rica
Moving to Costa Rica
97 views
Moving to Costa Rica
97 views

3 attractive areas for expat living in Costa Rica

Phoebe Conner - June 19, 2018

Costa Rica is a surprisingly diverse country for its size, with tropical rainforests, mountainous regions and of course, breathtaking coastlines.…

Download printable Sloth Kong World Cup brackets
World Cup 2018
80 views
World Cup 2018
80 views

Download printable Sloth Kong World Cup brackets

Katherine Stanley - June 19, 2018

Ready to keep track of the World Cup results? Eager for a little ray of Sloth Kong on the wall…