In today’s game, where cash is plentiful and loyalty nearly extinct, it’s always refreshing to hear from a player who genuinely loves being at the club for which he plays.
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Keylor Navas, the Costa Rican goalkeeper who signed for Real Madrid following a stellar showing at the 2014 World Cup, has only been with the La Liga giants for 15 months, but the 28-year-old revealed on Monday the love he feels for Los Blancos and just how devastated he would have been to leave for Manchester United had the David de Gea deal not fallen apart on transfer deadline day.
Speaking to Spanish radio station COPE, Navas also revealed just how far along the player-for-player-plus-cash deal was — quotes from FourFourTwo:
“I never wanted to leave Real Madrid. My agent told me to be alert to my phone. We had to go to Barajas [Airport], although I never actually got on a plane, I was in a waiting room.
“I thought that if God wanted me to leave Madrid, it would be for the best, but he didn’t want me to and I’m still here. I cried that night when I found out I was staying, it was a build-up of emotions. I didn’t want to leave, Madrid is my home.”
“I signed the Manchester United contract on a stretcher at Valdebebas, while I had my medical.”
It’s no surprise an unlikely star from Perez Zeledon, Costa Rica, would be so desperate to stay at a club like Madrid, having come up through the Saprissa academy and made his move to La Liga’s Levante at the age of 25. Furthermore, Navas only took over the full-time no. 1 ‘keeper job last month, following the departure of the iconic former captain, Iker Casillas.