After a stellar career serving Costa Rica internationally, Keylor Navas has announced his retirement from the national team. There will be no more doubt about his participation in the next Copa America event thanks to his Thursday announcement.

In a moving video message, Navas thanked his teammates and supporters for the ride they’ve been on. He also spoke about the “bittersweet feeling” of his leaving and emphasized that it’s not goodbye but “see you later.”

“I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the memories we have made. Together we have made history, facing the best players in the world, raising the name of Costa Rica to the highest level”, Navas said.

“More than 16 years ago God gave me the opportunity to defend the Costa Rican goal for the first time, a day I will never forget. Since then, every moment with the national team has been a dream come true. I feel incredibly lucky and privileged,” said the goalkeeper before thanking all his coaches, teammates, family and fans.

“This chapter of my life is coming to an end, I leave with my heart full of gratitude and my eyes looking forward, always carrying the name of our beloved Costa Rica,” the goalkeeper said in a video posted on social media.

“It’s a bittersweet feeling, difficult to accept, this stage has come to an end. It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later because I know our paths will continue to cross. Thank you, Costa Rica, see you later, pura vida,” he added.

Will Navas feature in Copa America?

The Tricolors’ coach Gustavo Alfaro reportedly had the goalie in mind for the start of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers and the Copa America. “We are counting on him and hope he can come to the country after his commitments with Paris.

“He has two league matches left and the cup final. For us, it is essential that he can join us for the qualifiers and the Copa America”, said the federation’s sporting director, Claudio Vivas, on May 13.

Still, he will not participate in the 2024 Copa America. His nation will reveal the roster in just a few weeks. His participation in this year’s event is quite unlikely, barring any unforeseen circumstances.

Goalkeeper leaves big shoes to fill in the national team

After making his national team debut in 2008, Navas has a tremendous international career to leave behind. He has played in three World Cups and 114 total games, the most recent being 2014 in Brazil. His outstanding play helped Costa Rica advance to the quarterfinals.

During his time with Los Ticos, Navas also made an unforgettable by competing in a plethora of other competitions. The list includes seven Gold Cups, three CONCACAF Nations League events, and two Central American Cups.

With the veteran’s departure, Costa Rican soccer loses a player who is easily among the greatest in the CONCACAF area. In a memorial to Navas, the Costa Rican Soccer Federation praised him as an inspiration and thanked him for everything that he had done for the country.

Even as he moves on to other endeavors, his impact as a sports legend and role model for young athletes will be felt for years to come.


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