(AFP via Getty Images)
Paris Saint-Germain keeper Keylor Navas dedicated his penalty save against Barcelona on Wednesday evening to teammate Sergio Rico.
The 34-year-old thwarted Lionel Messi from 12 yards in the first half just as the Spaniards looked to be conjuring up the beginnings of an unlikely comeback.
Messi thumped his spot kick low and hard but Navas deflected the ball onto the bar with his legs and celebrated by pointing to the touchline, an action he later explained was for Rico.
“It is always difficult, especially up against Messi who takes them very well,” said the Costa Rican keeper after the game.
“It gives a lot of joy to everyone. This penalty (stop) is for Sergio Rico who is going through some difficult moments with his family, this is for him.
Messi scored but then missed his spot kick as Barcelona crashed out of EuropeAP
“It was a very great match from Barcelona, they pushed to the maximum. We were very motivated to continue in this competition, with this spirit.
“We have to be united for this competition, the squad has very clear aims in their head. This is what will help us to go far in this competition.”
Meanwhile, PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino was thrilled with Navas’ performance.
He said: “Keylor had a huge game. We can say his actions show his quality. He just proves that he’s at the highest level in the world. I think we all saw him tonight.”
Barcelona outplayed PSG on the night but could only manage a 1-1 draw, a result which sees the French champions advance to the quarter-finals thanks to their 4-1 victory in the first leg at the Nou Camp.
Pochettino could still win three more trophies this season as he looks to add to his team’s triumph in the French Super Cup.
PSG are in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, the last 16 of the Coupe de France and just two points off the top of the table in Ligue 1.
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Published: 2021-03-11 11:24:51
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