Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas has blasted the ‘ugly’ treatment he received from Real Madrid during former manager Santiago Solari’s reign at the club.
Despite significant contributions to Real Madrid’s recent trophy-laden era, Navas has found his role considerably diminished this season with the summer resignation of Zinedine Zidane as well as the £35m signing of Thibaut Courtois.
The Costa Rican shot-stopper started just one La Liga match under Solari, and the tensions between the two nearly came to a head after Navas was left on the bench for Real’s inconsequential final Champions League group stage match against CSKA Moscow.
When asked about his frustrations this season, Navas said to Cope, as quoted by Marca: “The last match of the Champions League in the Group stage was quite ugly, there was a chance for almost all of my teammates to play and I did not, it was difficult to accept but I faced the situation and had to keep working.
“I did have the feeling that whatever I did in practice I was not going to play, but I was always a professional, I was motivated to continue doing things well because I am privileged.”
After battling through the tumultuous campaign under Julen Lopetegui and Solari, Zidane has returned to the Bernabeu helm and immediately reinstated the keeper that played a pivotal role in his side winning their last three Champions League trophies.
Following a triumphant return to the side, keeping a clean sheet in Real’s 2-0 victory against Celta Vigo, Navas was relieved to see Zidane back in charge.
“I was very emotional when I saw my name in the starting lineup.
“It (the tension with Solari) is already past and now we have to focus on the new stage with Zidane, enjoy what comes, I am calm because I know that he gives opportunities to all the players, not only to me”.
Those increased opportunities were immediately evident in Zidane’s second Real Madrid managerial debut as victory came courtesy of goals from Isco and Gareth Bale, who both struggled to establish themselves this season under the new management.
While Real Madrid are likely to go trophy-less this season, sitting 12 points behind Barcelona in the La Liga table, Zidane will be given the funds for a summer overhaul, although it remains to be seen if there will be a long term place for Navas in the Bernabeu goal.