Keylor Navas, the stronghold of Costa Rica for the ticket to Qatar-2022


Winner of three Champions Leagues with Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid and teammate of Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappé and Neymar at PSG, goalkeeper Keylor Navas is Costa Rica’s main asset to qualify for the Qatar-2022 World Cup.

To achieve this, the Ticos must defeat New Zealand on the 14th, in the playoff match to be played at the Ahmed bin Ali stadium in Doha. The winner of the duel will get the last ticket to the World Cup, where he will be drawn in Group E, along with Germany, Spain and Japan.

Costa Rica’s coach, Colombian Luis Fernando Suárez, has already announced that Navas will be the starter for this transcendental duel against the Kiwis.

“Keylor Navas has been, is and will be a fundamental piece of the Costa Rican team for his leadership, experience and international filming. He gives a plus to the team and makes the rival see you with greater respect,” she told AFP. journalist from the Costa Rican channel TD+, Andrea Zamora.

“Having Navas is a guarantee of security and defensive order, something that New Zealand must keep in mind,” he adds.

“Keylor will be a key player and will undoubtedly be a figure to follow in the playoffs,” Gabriel Vargas, a sports journalist for Costa Rica’s FUTV channel, told AFP.

The Ticos, who aspire to participate in their sixth World Cup, the third in a row, arrived at this venue after a spectacular comeback in the second phase of the octagonal Concacaf, where they achieved 16 of 18 possible points.

For many, Navas is the true architect of the classification of the Tricolor, highly questioned in the first games.

The PSG goalkeeper, who played 13 games out of a possible 14, conceded seven goals and kept a clean sheet seven times. In the last seven duels, key to the comeback, he only received two goals.

Coach Suárez gave Costa Rica a pragmatic game, not at all brilliant, based on defensive solidity, speed on the counterattack and Navas’ safety under the sticks.

“Navas was a key player in many octagonal games, making very important saves that were worth points,” says Vargas.

“He was the best Costa Rican player in the tie, because of him we undoubtedly had the chance not to lose some games and he has been essential for us to get to where we are,” Yashin Quesada, journalist and creator of the portal, told AFP. sports

Navas is the only Central American player to have won the Champions League, as well as four Club World Cups and a Copa del Rey. With PSG he has won two leagues.

With Costa Rica he has played two World Cups, including Brazil-2014, where the team reached the quarterfinals, its highest achievement in a World Cup.

Many Costa Ricans are devoted to Navas and say that thanks to their goalkeeper the country has carved out a niche for itself in world football. There are even not a few who classify him as “the best goalkeeper in the world”.

“Keylor stopped being a Costa Rican figure and became a world figure, he is our main ambassador in the world, here all the children dream of achieving what Keylor has achieved, he is the best player in the entire history of Costa Rican soccer. Rich,” says Quesada.

“Thanks to Keylor and his sporting achievements, we are in the arena (of world football) that we were not before,” Zamora points out.

However, the 35-year-old Costa Rican goalkeeper plays down his importance.

“I was able to help my team but I didn’t score a single goal in the tie and without goals you don’t win games, we’re all important here,” Navas said upon his arrival in Qatar.

“It would be very unfair to say that a team is just a player,” he added.