Keylor Navas The most wanted goalkeeper
Keylor Navas is the world's most wanted goalkeeper, with Liverpool, Arsenal and Atletico Madrid alerted by £6.5m clause
Keylor Navas says fearless Costa Rica can go on being World Cup world-beaters after victory against Greece put them in the last eight.
The hero of the penalty shoot-out said: 'We left our fear at home - that is why we came through a group that had three former World Cup winners in it. We are not afraid of anyone.'
Navas is now the World Cup’s most wanted keeper with tiny Spanish club Levante unable to keep hold of their star stopper whose contract runs out in one year and buy-out clause stands at just £6.5million.
In the entire World Cup qualifying campaign he conceded just seven goals – only the United States let in fewer than Costa Rica. And having conceded just once in the group matches, against Uruguay, he made the save of the tournament against Greece in Recife to keep out Theofanis Gekas's penalty.
Atletico Madrid are interested in Navas replacing Thibaut Courtois, who has gone back to Chelsea after three seasons on loan. But Arsenal, Liverpool and Everton are all monitoring the 27-year-old's situation.
He finished last season as La Liga’s second-best goalkeeper based on goals conceded, and the best based on the number of saves made.
It was Courtois who conceded fewest goals, but he had the best defence in Spain in front of him. At Levante, Navas had no such protection as was clear on the opening day of the season when he let in seven at the Nou Camp.
'I have had a tough journey to get where I am but I’ve fought hard and now I’m reaping the rewards,' Navas said, recalling how Spanish club Albacete plucked him from Costa Rica’s biggest side Saprissa in 2010.
He moved to first division Levante a year later and in the first two seasons he was understudy to Uruguayan Gustavo Gustavo Munua but last season became No 1 and the hard work put in under the tutelage of one of Spain’s most respected goalkeeping coaches, Luis Llopis, has reaped dividends.
He arrived with the reputation for being a spectacular shot-stopper but Llopis believed he could become even quicker in his area.
He is now four or five kilos lighter than when he arrived and Llopis says: 'Hours of training drills based on speeding-up his ability to accelerate, brake and change direction quickly in his area have paid off.'
Asked by Marca if Costa Rica have agreed a bonus for actually winning the World Cup Navas said: 'Of course we have. We are just like any other team in the competition. We maybe have fewer options but we have a set of targets with economic rewards.'
By PETE JENSON / Dailymail
Rest of Europe
World Cup 2014