Another World Cup standout has moved clubs. 27-year-old Keylor Navas, who made a name for himself during the summer in Brazil, has signed a six year deal with Real Madrid. The goalkeeper will travel three hours west from his former club, Levante UD, to join his new team mates in the capital. Navas was outstanding during the 2014 FIFA World Cup as he made save after save to push the over achieving Costa Rica side into the quarter finals. Los Blancos have reportedly shelled out around 13.5 million dollars to activate the release clause in Navas’s contract.
The Costa Rican goalkeeper kept three clean sheets during the World Cup, against quality sides like England, the Netherlands and Italy. His acrobatic saves and commanding presence throughout the tournament earned him a 9.08 rating from the Castrol Player Rating Index, as well as three Man of the Match Awards. While Navas certainly shone bright in the Brazilian heat, he was just as impressive with Levante during the 2013/2014 La Liga season, where he took home the Player of the Month Award in March.
The signing of Keylor Navas from Levante certainly has made life for Diego Lopez and Iker Casillas far more difficult. Los Merengues swapped between their two keepers last season, with Lopez playing La Liga contests and the club captain, Casillas, playing in Copa Del Ray and Champions League fixtures. The acquisition of Navas may almost certainly mean that Madrid fans will have to say goodbye to either Lopez or Casillas. The 33-year-old Casillas has been with Madrid since 1999, making nearly 500 caps for the reigning Champions League winners. But his poor form, and certainly his performance in Brazil has head man Carlo Ancelotti considering the future of the aging goalkeeper.
The more likely scenario would see the 31-year-old Lopez sold to make room for the Costa Rica international. Lopez has been heavily linked with an exit from the Estadio Bernabeu this summer, and has been rumored to be in talks with Chelsea, Monaco and Napoli. Look for the sale of Lopez to come in the near future as his spot with the club seems to have been hijacked. Regardless of what route Madrid president Florentino Perez takes, Keylor Navas will be a serious contender for the first team spot.