What the Future Holds for Costa Rica's World Cup Star Keylor Navas

Karla Villegas Gama@karlitsvFeatured ColumnistJuly 6, 2014

SALVADOR, BRAZIL - JULY 05: Keylor Navas of Costa Rica makes a save during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Quarter Final match between the Netherlands and Costa Rica at Arena Fonte Nova on July 5, 2014 in Salvador, Brazil.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Keylor Navas became Costa Rica's hero in Brazil. His saves, leadership and courage were fundamental for the team. Beyond that, it's time for Navas to dream big because his World Cup performance gives him that privilege.

The 27-year-old debuted with Costa Rican club Saprissa in 2005. Five years later he moved to one of Spain's second-division clubs Albacete, becoming the second keeper from his country to wear the Clockwise Cheese jersey—Luis Conejo Gabelo was the first one in 1990.

Navas worked very hard and was loaned to La Liga squad Levante the following season. Eventually, the move was permanent.

The Costa Rican took over the starting position in 2013, proving that he had the level and commitment to face some of the toughest forwards in the world, like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

His performance in the 2013/14 season earned him the recognition as the best goalkeeper of La Liga, ahead of Victor Valdes and Thibaut Courtois.

Navas' performance included 95 percent of claim success; he made 160 saves in 37 matchdays.

Advanced statistics site Squawka.com points out that the Costa Rican had 17 clean sheets and he made 3.81 saves per game.

During Brazil 2014 he was one of three CONCACAF keepers who amazed the world.

FIFA.com reports that Navas' save rate was 91.3 percent. He made two saves vs. Uruguay, four against Italy, one in front of England, seven against Greece—plus one penalty kick—and seven more against Netherlands.

Navas had already proven his fantastic skills, both with his club and the national team, but since this is his first World Cup, he finally caught media attention from the entire globe.

Navas is only getting better, and his future seems to be far from Levante.

Press Association (via The Guardian) assures that Atletico Madrid want to sign the Central American, since the Belgian Courtois is set to return to Chelsea.

The report says that Levante have already rejected a bid from Los Colchoneros, which included €6 million plus Leo Baptistao, but Navas' release clause equals €10 million.

Atletico Madrid is not the only interested club; he has also been linked with Liverpool and Arsenal, as per Metro.

Spanish website SuperDeporte suggests that Navas has also caught the attention of Portuguese clubs Porto and Benfica.

Navas' career has just begun, despite being a veteran. He will sign with a bigger club, perhaps even outside Spain.

He is set for big things, and if nothing weird happens we will surely see him guarding Los Ticos' goal in Russia 2018.