Barcelona Rejected The Chance To Sign One Real Madrid Player In 2008
Despite being two of the biggest football clubs in the world it's weird how rarely they actually go after the same player. Back in 2008 though Barca had the chance to sign one player who's gone on to be a Real Madrid first teamer.
Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric- all big Real Madrid transfers of the last decade who have been chased by other big clubs in Europe but never Real's biggest rivals Barcelona.
Similarly on the other side there's Luis Suarez, Cesc Fabregas, Alexis Sanchez, Ronaldinho were never really linked with Los Blancos before making big moves to the Camp Nou.
The exception to the rule. Neymar was chased by both big Spanish clubs. Image: PA
Even this summer Real are chasing Kylian Mbappe and the Catalans have never really been in the conversation. In 2008 Barcelona did have the chance to sign a player who would go on to play for their rivals for a very odd reason.
Speaking on Costa Rican tv show Encuentro Deportivo, vía AS, Keylor Navas' agent Ricardo Cabanas said:
"I came [to Costa Rica] in 2008 after watching some videos which [Luis] Gabelo Conejo had given me and I spent a fortnight watching the national team's training sessions.
"I was watching a video of a match between DC United and Saprissa - it was amazing and I thought to myself: 'Who's that keeper? I was spellbound by him.
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"I gave all of them detailed reports and videos and all of them turned me down.
"One of [Pep Guardiola's assistants] told me: 'He's a great keeper, Ricardo, but no one is going to sign a goalkeeper from Costa Rica -at least no big club."
Navas has been brilliant for Real but there's no guarantee he'll be Real's number 1 going forward. Image: PA
In the interview Cabanas also revealed that Atletico Madrid turned down the chance to sign Navas too although he didn't say anything about his nationality being the issue.
It seems like an odd reason not to sign a player but it might not be any odder than Real's decision they didn't want to sign Ronaldinho because he was too ugly, or so the story goes.
Imagine not wanting to sign one of the best players in the world because he didn't quite have to look you were after. Think Real regretted that one more than Pep and Barca regretted not signing Navas.
The Costa Rican's place at the Bernabeu does seem under constant threat with Zinedine Zidane's side constantly linked with moves for Gianluigi Donnarumma, David de Gea and Thibaut Courtois.