Real Madrid keeper Navas seeks to extend clean sheets record

Reuters , Monday 21 Sep 2015

Keylor Navas
Real Madrid's new goalkeeper Keylor Navas of Costa Rica (Photo: Reuters)

A few weeks ago Real Madrid's Keylor Navas seemed about to leave but now has a club record five clean sheets since the start of the season which he will aim to extend against Athletic Bilbao in La Liga on Wednesday.

Navas has shown poise and dexterity in goal since his move to Manchester United collapsed at the end of the transfer window and has quickly won the admiration of the Bernabeu crowd.

The Costa Rican international, who was reportedly included in a deal to bring David De Gea to Real that was not registered in time, has yet to concede in four league games as well as the Champions League match with Shakhtar Donetsk last Tuesday.

He has already bettered the previous best start to a campaign by a Real keeper when Miguel Angel kept four clean sheets at the beginning of the 1975-76 season.

There were also four clean sheets at the start of the 1957-58 campaign when two goalkeepers Rogelio Dominguez and Juanito Alonso were used.

"It was a difficult night for me at the end of the transfer market but that is now in the past," Navas told reporters.

"Now I am thinking of the present and the coach (Rafa Benitez) believes in me. I have had the chance to stay and I will give my best. I am very grateful to the Real fans for their support which is not easy to earn."

Much of the attention ahead of last Saturday's clash with Granada was whether Cristiano Ronaldo could score the two goals that would see him equal Raul's record of 323 in a Real shirt but it was a below-par display.

The match was decided by a Karim Benzema header and Navas made some important saves.

Real will be keen against Bilbao to return to the attacking form that saw them score 15 goals in the previous three games.

They have only dropped points in their opening match of the season with a draw against Sporting Gijon but they trail an ominous looking Barcelona who have a 100 percent league record with the champions visiting Celta Vigo on Wednesday.

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