• La Liga

Real Madrid sign Costa Rica's World Cup hero

ESPN staff
August 3, 2014
Keylor Navas helped Costa Rica reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup © Getty Images

European champions Real Madrid have signed Costa Rica's World Cup hero Keylor Navas on a six-year deal.

The 27-year-old goalkeeper, who leaves Levante for the Santiago Bernabeu, was a star performer as Costa Rica reached the quarter-finals in Brazil.

A statement published on Real's official website on Sunday evening read: "Real Madrid CF and Levante UD have reached an agreement over the transfer of Keylor Navas, who will be tied to the club for the next six seasons.

"The player will be presented on Tuesday, August 5, at 1 pm [local time] in the Bernabeu's royal box, after undergoing the relevant medical examinations.

"Subsequently, Navas will tread the turf of the Bernabeu for the first time and will address the media in the press room."

The deal, which is reported to have required Real to pay €10 million to Levante to activate the keeper's release clause, could have ramifications for Madrid stopper Diego Lopez.

Lopez was Madrid's first-choice keeper in La Liga matches last season but club captain Iker Casillas started every game in the Copa del Rey and throughout Real's successful Champions League campaign.

The former Sevilla keeper's agent recently brushed aside reports that his client was set to join Serie A side Napoli.

However, the signing of Navas, whose outstanding performances in Brazil helped his nation top Group D and reach the last-eight for the first time, certainly means serious competition for Casillas.

The 31-year-old flopped in Brazil, conceding seven goals in Spain's defeats to the Netherlands and Chile which saw Vicente del Bosque's side crash out of the tournament at the group stage.

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