Real Madrid’s Navas Sets La Liga Clean Sheet Record

Keylor Navas is a perfect No. 10 in the La Liga record books…

The 28-year-old Costa Rican soccer player has broken a club record for clean sheets at the start of a season, after racking up a fourth consecutive clean sheet in La Liga and fifth in a row in all competitions with his clean sheet in Real Madrid’s 1-0 win over Granada on Saturday.

Keylor Navas

Navas is the tenth goalkeeper in La Liga’s 86-year history to record such a streak at the beginning of the campaign.

The fifth straight shutout since the start of 2015-16 betters former Real Madrid keeper Miguel Angel‘s sequence of four on the spin at the beginning of the 1975-76 campaign.

“It was a difficult night for me at the end of the transfer market but that is now in the past,” Navas told reporters.

“Now I am thinking of the present and the coach [Rafa Benitez] believes in me. I have had the chance to stay and I will give my best. I am very grateful to the Real fans for their support which is not easy to earn.”

Marca reports that Navas is now just 10 minutes away from bettering Iker Casillas‘ personal best without conceding a goal, after the Spaniard went 460 minutes without being beaten in 2008-09.

Before Navas, Claudio Bravo was the last man to join the exclusive club of keepers to have remained unbeaten four weeks into the La Liga season, with the Chilean settling quickly into life at Barça last term. Real Madrid’s only other member of this hall of fame is Miguel Ángel, who didn’t concede in any of his first four league appearances in 1975-76.

Navas’ streak has put him in the esteemed company of Barça legends Salvador Sadurní (1968-69), the first to achieve the feat, and Pello Artola (1977-78); Atlético Madrid great Abel Resino (1991-92); Deportivo‘s Paco Liaño (1993-94); Real Sociedad‘s José Ramón Esnaola (1970-71); Celta Vigo‘s Pablo Cavallero (2001-02), Zaragoza‘s Manolo Villanova (1972-73) and Compostela‘s Javier Falagán (1995-96).

Alcântara Signs Three-Year Contract Extension with Barcelona

Rafinha Alcântara is staying put…

The 20-year-old Brazilian soccer pro, the brother of Thiago Alcântara, has signed a three-year contract extension with Barcelona.

Rafinha Alcântara

Rafinha had been considering all his options, including a potentia loan move to Celta Vigo.

Luis Enrique, Celta coach and former Barca B boss, was keen to take both the 20-year-old and his teammate Jonathan Dos Santos to Balaidos, while Rafinha’s father, Mazinho, represented the La Liga side from 1996-1999.

However, the younger of the two Alcantaras opted to put pen to paper on a deal to keep him at Barca until 2016 instead, although he has made it clear that there is still a chance he could be representing a different team come next season.

“I am very happy to continue to be attached to the club but I am open to the possibility of going out on loan,” he told the press after signing his new contract. “If I need to do that in order to get minutes then that’s not a problem.”

Rafinha, who has chosen to represent Brazil at the international level, played 36 games for Barca B last season, netting 10 goals.