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24 May, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Real, Reds packed with attacking talent

AFP
Real, Reds packed with attacking talent
Girls make selfie in front of the official logo set on the Independence Square in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev on May 22, 2018, ahead of 2018 UEFA Champions League final football match between Real Madrid and Liverpool FC on May 26 at the Olimpiyskiy Stadium. AFP photo

AFP, LONDON: Goalkeepers Loris Karius of Liverpool and Real Madrid’s Keylor Navas have the onerous task of keeping the score down when the two most prolific sides in the Champions League this season meet in Saturday's final in Kiev.

Spearheaded by the free-scoring Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah, both teams are packed with attacking talent, while at the other end of the field Karius and Navas have often been pinpointed as weak links.

Despite playing their part to get to the final, doubts remain over who will be number one at Anfield and the Santiago Bernabeu next season. Karius, 24, has started all 12 of Liverpool's Champions League matches since the start of the group stages, recording a competition-high six clean sheets.

However, he played second fiddle behind Simon Mignolet in the Premier League until January.

Bought from Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp's former club Mainz in 2016, the German was expected to replace the much-questioned Mignolet long before.

But after breaking his hand in his first pre-season, he struggled badly in his debut campaign and was dropped after just 10 Premier League appearances.

But for a matter of seconds that changed his life, Navas could also have ended up in England's northwest. The Costa Rican was intended to be Madrid's makeweight in the move that brought David de Gea from Manchester United in 2015.

Instead, that deal was not completed in time on transfer deadline day and Navas has gone on to be a two-time Champions League winner. Deeply religious, Navas has put that twist of fortune down to a higher power.

A hero in his homeland, his rise from humble origins to become one of Real's millionaire galacticos has been made into a film called "Man of Faith" that was released in Spain this week.

Despite Madrid's success, though, Navas has never been able to shake off speculation every season that he could be replaced.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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