Goalkeeper Keylor Navas (pictured) will captain Costa Rica for its October friendlies. (Photo: Mexsport)
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – With Bryan Ruiz out with an injury, goalkeeper Keylor Navas was named Costa Rica’s captain for upcoming friendlies against South Africa (October 8) and the United States (October 13).
Head coach Oscar Ramirez made the announcement Wednesday at a press conference.
"The captaincy is in very good hands, with Bryan, Keylor and Celso (Borges),” said the former Alajuelense manager. “For tomorrow it is very likely to be Keylor.”
Navas earned a starting role in each of Real Madrid's seven league games this season, conceding only two goals. He has also posted shutouts in two UEFA Champions League matches.
"Being captain is a great responsibility, but I feel ready,” the 28-year-old expressed. “We know that in order to give one needs a group to lead and this fills me with pride. Being a captain of a team is always important, but this team has the advantage on the field in that there are many captains.”
“I come to give everything to the country. This is what makes me happy.”
The former Saprissa standout was one of the stars of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, helping lead the Ticos to the quarterfinals. Navas was named CONCACAF Player of the Year that same year.
He missed this summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup, but is delighted to link up once again with the side.
"When one arrives in the country, you know the affection that people have for me because I see it on social networks, but I didn’t expect so many people at the airport,” he finished. “When I arrive home and see my family happy, it motivates me a lot.”