Is Keylor Navas more important to Real Madrid than Cristiano Ronaldo? Right now, he very well might be. In fact, I’m inclined to say yes.
What Keylor is doing between the posts for Madrid is nothing short of spectacular. After a Sergio Ramos mistake resulted in an Antoine Griezmann penalty kick in Sunday’s Madrid derby – a 1-1 draw at the final whistle – the Tico goalie made yet another outrageous penalty save, his second out of two this season.
When asked about the save, Keylor stated, “It’s something I research and work on. You always have to be on your toes in order to help the team out; it was a tricky shot but luckily I was able to keep it out.” He’s becoming a verified penalty-stopping machine, a “Real lifesaver” as Marca cheekily put it; only six of 13 penalty attempts have found the back of his net. Less than half.
Keylor was decisive at numerous other points during the match against Atléti as well, saving Madrid from another embarrassing league defeat to their cross-city foes. One such moment was in the 91st minute, when Jackson Martínez blasted in this attempt from distance:
It’s safe to say that Keylor was the MVP of the day, and equally safe to say that he’s been Real Madrid’s MVP so far this season. Even rojiblancos concur (and say that they miss Iker Casillas – imagine!). Should we add current CONCACAF MVP to his growing list of personal accolades?