Even though it is likely Real Madrid president Florentino Perez will make another run at signing David de Gea this summer, the club’s supporters have overwhelming voted to keep the team’s current number one – Keylor Navas – between the sticks at the Santiago Bernabeu next season.
In a poll released by the Spanish publication AS, 79% of Real Madrid fans chose Navas over De Gea.
While that may come as a surprise to neutrals, those who follow the Spanish giants understand the importance Navas has played in Los Blancos’ squad this season.
The Costa Rican has been the most consistent performer for the La Liga side and has been hailed for his professionalism, dedication and standout efforts in front of goal. If the season ended today, the goalkeeper would very well be voted Real Madrid’s player of the year.
Navas started of the campaign with five clean sheets in his first five matches in all competitions. The 29-year-old’s La Liga statistics are outstanding, boasting 0.88 goals conceded per game while averaging 2.65 saves per contest.
However, it’s European competition where Navas’ performances have really taken flight.
The Costa Rican international has yet to allow a goal in eight Champions League matches this season. When the final whistle sounded following Madrid’s 2-0 win over AS Roma earlier this week, Navas broke Edwin van der Saar’s previous record of unbeaten minutes in the Champions League.
It’s these statistics – as well as the goalkeeper’s humble demeanor – which have endeared him to the ultra-demanding supporters inside the Bernabeu.
Whether or not Florentino Perez will ultimately give up on his pursuit of De Gea is yet to be seen. In all likelihood, the club president will not be convinced to change his mind on the Manchester United goalkeeper.
But Real Madrid fans have made their choice clear. They want Navas as their number one next season.