Keylor Navas’ dramatic season at Real Madrid got its Hollywood ending on Saturday when he became the first Costa Rican to win the Champions League, but his persisting Achilles problem will prevent the goalkeeper from participating in Copa América.
Last Saturday, Navas played a peripheral role in the Champions League final. He had little saves to make, with his Atlético de Madrid counterpart Jan Oblak tested far more often. After tying 1-1 in the first 120 minutes, Real Madrid converted all five penalty kicks to defeat Atlético in the topsy-turvy match. Navas couldn’t stop the first three of Atlético’s penalty tries, but got lucky on the fourth when Atlético veteran Juanfran scuffed his attempt and hit the post.
It proved enough for an embattled Real Madrid and Navas to win la undécima. For Navas, the victory was the coronation of an outstanding but difficult season.
But the glorious end to his season has turned sour: Navas will miss Copa América Centenario due to his aforementioned Achilles tendon problem. Last year, he also missed the Gold Cup. Earlier this month Real Madrid had indicated that its goalkeeper would need time on the sidelines.
On its official website, the Costa Rican Soccer Federation (Fedefutbol) announced that goalkeeper Danny Carvajal is going to replace Navas.
On Saturday, Costa Rica kicks off its Copa América campaign against Paraguay. In Group A, the Ticos will also meet the USA and Colombia.