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Illustrated Poem: Keylor Navas And His Struggle For Justice

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A poem dedicated to the keeper who has gone from winning three straight Champions League titles to not playing in the tournament at all

Keylor Navas. Illustration by Sofi Serg. Sofi Serg

“He makes another step and then he thinks

About the old days when he didn’t have a cent

And played football on the unpaved streets

He remembers how one day he said

That someday he will make unreal things

Yes, the things that people haven’t seen yet

Oh, that time he was naive like other kids

Bare feet and the head full of dreams

The Bernabéu was the biggest dream he had

But he wasn’t scared by potential defeats

He was sure that nothing will ever make him sad

And that someday he’ll have everything he needs

So, now here he is, next to the white stand

He loves this club and the stadium’s drumbeats

And the loud fans that can’t sit still on the seats

They remind him of Costa Rica’s parakeets

That’s true, he came here from the west

And he made everything to be the best

First he turned into a spider in this net

Then a scorpion that hides in the sand

A quick falling star that nobody can get

In the end, he became a black panther

The ball is the prey and he’s the hunter

A peaceful person but a dangerous creation

Who is camouflaged in all these faded lights

In the depth of the Champions League nights

And he’s like a predator in the Adidas boots

He prays, because there won’t be any miracle

If he doesn’t break the rules*

So, now he can make some unreal things

Like the ones from his childhood dreams

Now he’s a lord among all these kings

And a real saver that every club needs

Triumphs are the things he always eats

He’s an antidote for the defenders’ sins

No-no, this story can’t end up like this

Without him, our club usually bleeds

He knows that this club has its own jungle laws

Another jump shot, the ball is already in the paws

Save by save, he’s gonna fight without a pause

C’mon fans, doesn’t he deserve some applause?

The Bernabéu’s pitch is scratched by his claws

No, you can’t isolate him from the team

Even if it’s for a good cause

If not him, who will extend a helping hand

At the moment when there’s no hope left?

He gives every ounce of blood and sweat

Even when the final match is about to end

There’s a brave animal hidden in his chest

But humanity is what he tries to represent

‘Pura Vida’ is the message he wants to send*

He’s forced to see another keeper in the net

And this injustice makes him a little bit upset

He won’t give up, so don’t even take that bet

But even the panther has the wounds to mend

And maybe he will come back to his native land

This club doesn’t need him, he’s gonna leave it

But that was a glorious hunt, he won’t forget it

This club is losing its hero, no one can stop it

And it will be too late when the fans regret it

His game here is over and he won’t hit ‘reset’

But the truth is, Real Madrid will be the best

Even after all of that”

December 2018, “La Pantera Negra” (The Black Panther)

Keylor Navas. Gif by Sofi Serg.
First he turned into a spider in this net, then a scorpion that hides in the sand
Sofi Serg / Gamedayplus Episode 11

Endnotes:

“He prays, because there won’t be any miracle if he doesn’t break the rules” — this phrase is inspired by the story “Zázrak na hřišti” (Miracle at the stadium) written by Czech writer Karel Čapek in 1936.

“Pura Vida” is a lifestyle of Costa Ricans, which is based on positive and simple living without any stress or fuss. The phrase itself can be literally translated to “simple life” or “pure life”, and it’s often used to say hello or goodbye, or to imply everything is great.

Sofi Serg

This poem is inspired by Keylor Navas’ autobiographical movie “Hombre de Fe” (Man of Faith), which narrates about his career and life story.