An interesting story has been revealed by the agent of Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas today, regarding Los Blancos fierce La Liga rivals Barcelona.
Speaking exclusively to Encuentro Deportivo, Ricardo Cabanas discussed the difficulties endured by he and his client back in 2008, when Navas was offered to all of the top clubs in La Liga.
‘I came [to Costa Rica] in 2008 after watching some videos which [Luis] Gabelo Conejo had given me and I spent a fortnight watching the national team’s training sessions.’
‘I was watching a video of a match between DC United and Saprissa — it was amazing and I thought to myself: ‘Who’s that keeper? I was spellbound by him.’
‘I gave all of them detailed reports and videos and all of them turned me down.’
However, while Cabanas revealed that he was surprised that none of Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid or Barcelona were interested in his client, it was the reasoning behind just why the Catalunyan club rejected Navas that did come as a surprise.
‘One of [Pep Guardiola’s assistants] told me: ‘He’s a great keeper, Ricardo, but no one is going to sign a goalkeeper from Costa Rica — at least no big club…’
However, Navas’ Costa Rican heritage has hardly held him back since, with the 30-year-old having cemented himself as one of the world’s finest goalkeepers since joining Real Madrid in 2014.
The 73-time capped international has gone on to win 2 Champions League titles, a La Liga crown, the Uefa Super Cup and a pair of FIFA Club World Cups.
Barcelona’s loss was very much Real Madrid’s gain!