Few goalkeepers can boast of playing a World Cup, his position is far from others where there may be rotations from one game to another and even within the same 90-minute game. Generally, the one who starts playing is the one who finishes, unless an injury occurs, this makes each one of the 32 star goalkeepers of each selection even more privileged and Keylor Navas is one of them, who for the third time, will be the guardian of Costa Rica in a World Cup and will once again show the planet what it is made of.
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Nevertheless, Qatar 2022 will be different for the experienced goalkeepernot only because it is no longer new in this instance, but because unlike the previous two cups, in this will arrive without competition rhythmWell, at PSG he is not being taken into account and it seems that nothing is going to change in a month.
At his club, Christophe Galtier opted for Gianluigi Donnarumma and despite attempts to Keylor Navas They have not been lacking, the coach is very clear that the times of alternating are over and that the Italian is his star record.
Which leaves the Costa Rican with a clear sporting dissatisfaction, but you will never see him being disrespectful or ill-disposed towards the group or coaching staff, so he continues to work with two objectives, the first is to be at a high level in case any unexpected opportunity and for arriving at the World Cup in the best physical and sporting shape possible.
Keylor Navas, goalkeeper of Costa Rica. GettyImages.
Never before has Costa Rica’s star goalkeeper arrived at a World Cup event the way Navas will., in the five editions in which it has participated, it has had a regular goalkeeper. For Italy 90 it was Gabelo Rabbitwho came as Ramonense goalkeeper, for 2022 the star was eric lonniswho was captain of the Ticos in the three commitments and a fundamental piece of Saprissa at that time and the same thing happened in 2006 where Joseph Francis PorrasSaprissa’s goalkeeper was in charge of defending the goal and wearing the captain’s band.
From 2014 the reign of Keylor Navas began in La Sele and it is that for the World Cup in Brazil he arrived as a figure goalkeeper for Levante from Spain, his great performances earned him being bought by Real Madrid and in 2018 he came to play in Russia as three-time UEFA Champions League champion.
Keylor Navas was a figure in the Champions League with Real Madrid. Getty Images
At the CONCACAF level, this is also an extremely unprecedented event, Well, although it is the case of Kasey Keller in 2002, who was not a starter with Tottenham, at least ended up playing the last seven days of the Premier League before getting to play in Korea-Japan. While in the other World Cups following Tim Howard He arrived as an immovable piece of Everton.
In the case of Mexico, their starting goalkeeper in the World Cups has always been regular how was it Oscar ‘Rabbit’ Perez in 2002 and 2010, Oswaldo Sanchez in 2006 when he was a goalkeeper for Chivas and William Ochoa He reached the 2014 and 2018 appointments as the starting goalkeeper for Ajaccio de France and Standard de Liège.
The same happens with other CONCACAF qualifiers. What Honduras who had Noel Valladares as goalkeeper in 2010 and 2014, Shaka Hislop with Trinidad and Tobago in 2006 and Jaime Penedo for Panama in 2018, all came to play the great event with the label that they had minutes in their respective clubs.
With the Ticos, Keylor Navas is a wallProof of this is that in the entire tie they conceded six goals in 14 qualifying games, including the playoff against New Zealand.
Few doubt that despite his situation this will affect him when facing group E where Spain, Germany and Japan will be measured. The ‘Falcon’ has plenty of conditions and will fight against whomever it is when it comes to going on goal, but his situation is not unusual, since we are talking about an elite goalkeeper who would be the undisputed starter in any other team.
His last official game as a Parisian goalkeeper was at the end of the 2021-2022 season. in the match they beat Metz 5-0. After that, he changed coaches and there his participation was cut off.
He had the opportunity to go out and play for Napolibut the issues related to your contract with PSG and the payment of a millionaire indemnity that the Parisians were not willing to pay him if they released him prevented him from leaving for the South of Italy. This situation, it leaves him with no choice but to spend these months in the bank waiting for November to arrive and to represent his country again in Qatar where, by the way, he will be the only goalkeeper on the current French squad, since Donnarumma and Italy did not qualify and both Sergio Rico and Alexandre Lettellier are not taken into account by Spain or France .
In the two previous World Cups, Keylor Navas has been the highest point of Costa Rica. Unlike those moments, now he has great experience and has shown that despite having intermittence he has continued to perform for his country. Now, could possibly play his last world cup It is a fact that he will give everything to give his best performance against three such qualified rivals and give a surprise, if football allows it.
It will be an unusual World Cup for a goalkeeper of the caliber of Keylor Navasmany of the generation with which he had his first matches in the big event have already stepped aside or are no longer taken into account, there are only five teammates left who are still going against all odds. Although it does not arrive the way he wants it, no one can dare to doubt that once he steps out onto the field of play, the goalkeeper will put up a tireless battle. from start to finish until the Ticos say goodbye to Qatar, either in the group stage or who knows how far it will reach them.