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One of The Biggest Injustices in Football? - Keylor Navas

On this date, April 14th, the world celebrates the international goalkeeper's day. A day we all honor and recognize current and former goalies, a role that is the base of any club and, however, the most undervalued and criticized position in the history of Football/Soccer.

We can all mention a moment of glory or disaster, involving a GK, that we've seen on TV or experienced live, that will always be present in our memories. Goalies, most of the times, provide the security and defensive stabilization that managers and club owners constantly search for. Nonetheless, throughout the history of the sport, it's the only position in which one can go from hero to villain in a matter of seconds. And when I say hero to villain, I mean that a single mistake can cost, sometimes, the professional career of that goalie. A simple error can cause an immense consequence that might never be forgotten. Although, when successfully performed, goalies can be the center of the attention and receive the credits for a club's achievements. But what I want to discuss here is possibly one of the biggest injustices to a goalkeeper to ever to be discussed. Maybe racism, maybe not enough luck, maybe not enough media.

Over the past few years, Keilor Antonio Navas Gamboa, or simply Keilor Navas, a professional goalkeeper from Costa Rica, has played for Football giants, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain and achieved all possible club awards. He has been a synonym for security and regularity clubs all wish to have.

After joining Madrid during the 14/15 season, Navas started to receive international attention and notoriety from the media. He played for the club in 5 consecutive seasons, have won 3 Champions Leagues, 4 FIFA World Club titles, 3 UEFA Supercups, 2 Spanish Supercups, 1 Copa del Rey, and 2 La Liga titles. An impressive curriculum envied by many other players. At the end of the 2018/19 season, with the arrival of European GK Thibaut Courtois to Real Madrid, he started to lose his importance on the squad, despite maintaining his regularity and high performances, and transferred to PSG. Until today's date, he's won with PSG one Ligue 1 title, one Coupe de France, one Coupe de la ligue, one Thropée des Champions, and has been Champions League runner-up last season 19/20.

With many great performances and achievements, he's established himself as one of the greatest goalkeepers in history, especially in the most renowned international club competition, the UEFA Champions League, in which, to today's date, he has NEVER lost a two-legged tie. After knowing all these facts and info, you might think he's probably been recognized multiple times for his achievements, but as impressive as it may sound, he has NOT.

The Costa Rican goalkeeper, during these past years at Madrid and PSG, has never been selected as the best goalkeeper of the season by FIFA and only once by UEFA, during the 17/18 season, despite all his awards and achievements. I know that many of the decisions are not clearly understood and there's much more behind, but how come a player with constant high performances, and playing regularly for Soccer giant, Real Madrid, has never been selected on the first team?

An important point to mention is that outside of Brazilian goalkeepers, a non-European goalie has NEVER been awarded by FIFA as the best goalkeeper of the season. Moreover NONE non-European, neither Brazilians, was ever awarded the World Cup Golden Glove, award for the best goalie in a World Cup.

Maybe if Navas was a “White” European he would have a chance. Or maybe if PSG wins the Champions league for the first time in history, he's recognized by FIFA or UEFA. I believe we'll never really know. There are many theories to be argued against or in favor of his non selection, but I'd like to leave this question in the air for you.


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