Last Update 18:29
Sunday, 20 October 2019

Impressive Navas shows Courtois who is No 1 at Madrid

Reuters , Monday 27 Aug 2018
Keylor Navas
Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas (1) makes a save against Roma during an International Champions Cup soccer match at MetLife Stadium. (Photo: AP)
Views: 1995
Views: 1995

Thibaut Courtois was expected to quickly assume the role of first choice goalkeeper for Real Madrid after arriving from Chelsea for 35 million euros ($40 million) this month.

However, the Belgian World Cup semi-finalist watched the European champions crush Girona 4-1 from the bench in the La Liga on Sunday at Montilivi, with Keylor Navas excelling in goal.

Every summer since 2015 Madrid has tried to sign a new goalkeeper to be their regular No. 1, but Navas has doggedly held on to the position, helping the club to three consecutive Champions League titles.

The Costa Rican's time finally appeared to be up when Courtois forced through a move to the Spanish capital from Chelsea, but thus far Julen Lopetegui has kept his faith in Navas.

He was in goal for the UEFA Super Cup game against Atletico Madrid on Aug. 15 when Courtois was not in the squad, having only completed his move from Chelsea a few days before.

Despite Real conceding four goals in a 4-2 defeat, Navas kept his place for the opening game of the La Liga against Getafe, which Real won 2-0.

Then at Girona Navas put in a superb display to ensure Madrid moved to the top of the table.

He raced off his line at lightning speed to deny Portu when the Girona winger was sent through on goal, something Courtois might not have been able to do given his size.

Navas also made another fine save to prevent Borja Garcia, who netted Girona’s opener, from adding a second.

Any issues over Courtois' fitness have been cleared up, with the player saying he was "ready for the game" on his Instagram account.

Navas's performance raised questions about when Courtois would get his chance as on this form it will be difficult for Lopetegui to drop his current No 1.

"It's not a situation that's easy to understand but it's simple enough to explain," Lopetegui told reporters.

"I've got some really good options in goal and there are no problems in that area. We'll decide what's best for each game.

"Keylor got the nod today and did very well. There's great competition and that makes us stronger in the goalkeeping department. I've got some thoughts in my mind, but I'm not going to share them."

This is the first time Courtois has been on the bench for the first two league matches of a season since he was 17 at Genk in 2009.

With the Champions League and Copa del Rey starting in September and October, there will be opportunities for Courtois to feature. However for now, Navas's spot is his to lose.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

© 2010 Ahram Online.