The legendary goalkeeper Keylor Navas looks likely to continue his illustrious career in Mexico’s Liga MX.

He has earned renown for his remarkable contributions to Real Madrid’s three consecutive UEFA Champions League titles from 2016 to 2018. Now, multiple reports suggest that Navas could soon be joining Club Leon, the 2023 CONCACAF Champions League winners.

Navas began his professional career in 2005 with Costa Rican side Deportivo Saprissa. There, he won five domestic titles and a CONCACAF Champions League title, notably defeating Pumas UNAM in Mexico City. His impressive performances earned him a move to Europe in 2010, joining Spanish second-division club Albacete Balompié. After two seasons, and following the club’s relegation, Navas transferred to La Liga side Levante.

At Levante, Navas quickly established himself as one of the top goalkeepers in Spain. His stellar performances earned him a nomination for the 2013 Goalkeeper of the Year, alongside prominent names like Thibaut Courtois and Willy Caballero. He won the award in 2014, cementing his reputation as an elite goalkeeper.

How Navas became superstar

Navas’ breakout year in 2014 saw him shine at the World Cup, leading Costa Rica to an unexpected quarter-final appearance. His heroics caught the attention of Real Madrid, who signed him shortly after the tournament. Despite initial attempts by the club to replace him with Manchester United’s David de Gea, Navas secured his position as the first-choice goalkeeper under Rafa Benítez and later Zinedine Zidane.

Navas enjoyed huge success during his time with Real Madrid
Navas enjoyed huge success during his time with Real Madrid

Navas enjoyed huge success during his time with Real Madrid

During his time in Madrid, Navas played a crucial role in the club’s success, winning three consecutive Champions League titles. He also became the first Costa Rican to win the prestigious trophy. His performances earned him the best goalkeeper award in the 2018 Champions League as Real Madrid triumphed over Liverpool.

In 2019, Navas moved to Paris Saint-Germain, where he continued to showcase his talents. Over his tenure at PSG, he added three Ligue 1 titles to his collection. However, the arrival of Gianluigi Donnarumma relegated him to a backup role. In 2023, Navas was loaned to Nottingham Forest in the Premier League, where he contributed significantly to their campaign.

New challenge in Mexico?

At 37, Navas announced his departure from PSG, signaling the end of his 14-year European career. As a free agent, he is now reportedly close to signing with Club Leon in Mexico.

If the transfer materializes, he will replace Rodolfo Cota, the club’s current first-choice goalkeeper. The Costa Rican would join forces with Mexican superstar Andres Guardado if the deal goes through. Guardado used to be his opponent in Spain, when the two played together at Real Betis, Valencia, and Deportivo La Coruña.

This move could significantly bolster Leon’s squad, which had a disappointing 2024 Clausura campaign, finishing eleventh in the league and missing the playoffs. The team’s 2024 Clausura campaign was lackluster; they won seven of seventeen games and finished in tenth place, meaning they did not advance to the play-in round for postseason playoff participation.

Photo credits: IMAGO / ZUMA Press Wire : IMAGO / Gribaudi/ImagePhoto