Keylor Navas, Real Madrid’s Costa Rican goalkeeper, thinks that Barcelona will be just as big a rival this season despite Neymar’s departure.
“Neymar’s talent is not a secret, he is one of the best players in the world but we can’t fall into the trap of thinking that Barcelona are weaker because he’s not there anymore,” he said in a press conference before the Super Cup.
“They have fantastic players to replace Neymar. Whoever plays will have the same desire to give everything, to put effort in and to perform. I don’t think Barcelona are weaker,” he added.
In Keylor Navas’ opinión the arrival of Ernesto Valverde as manager will not change much in terms of Barça’s style. “Barcelona have great players and a very clear idea of how to play. They can change the manager but their style is very clear, we all know it. It’s not going to be a game with a lot of secrets, they know us. It will be defined by small details, so we have to stay focussed so we make as few mistakes as possible,” the goalkeeper said.
Real Madrid come into the tie having already won their first title of the season, the European Super Cup against Manchester United, and Navas admits that the team is now “relaxed” after putting in a good performance and “conscious” that they have to maintain that level of performance to beat Barcelona in another final.
“We know the responsibility that’s on our shoulders, we go into the game with the confidence that winning the European Super Cup gives us. It’s going to be a very complicated game but we are confident and motivated,” Navas added.
“I think the team’s in great shape. We have a good group, the boss and his coaches and Sergio the captain makes the new faces feel part of a family and make it easy for them to settle in. Those who arrive come ready to adapt to the group,” Navas commented.
Lastly, he said he liked the fact that the Spanish Super Cup was played over two legs but does not think it gives Real Madrid, who play the second leg at home, an advantage.
"Ultimately we have to adapt to the situation, the rules are there are two legs and we have to play both with the same intensity. Nothing would change if there was one game, we would go to win like always. We are going to enjoy the game but try to win it too,” he said to finish.