June 24, 2021

‘This penalty is for Sergio Rico’ – PSG hero Navas dedicates Messi spot-kick save to team-mate

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The Costa Rican star made nine stops, including once from a penalty by the Argentine, to lead his side into the quarter-finals past Barcelona

Keylor Navas dedicated his penalty kick save against Lionel Messi to Sergio Rico, who has been away from the Paris Saint-Germain squad due to “personal reasons”.

Navas was able to get a foot to Messi’s shot just before half-time, leading the way in a 1-1 draw that sealed a 5-2 aggregate win for last season’s runners-up.

After a fine performance where he made nine saves, Navas took the opportunity to offer well wishes to his team-mate and fellow goalkeeper Rico as he battles through tough times.

What did Navas say?

“It’s always difficult, especially against Messi who shoots very well,” Navas told RMC Sport. “It gives a lot of joy to everyone. This penalty is for Sergio Rico who is going through difficult times with his family, it is for him.”

Into the next round

With Wednesday’s victory, PSG sealed their spot in the quarter-finals, joining Borussia Dortmund, Porto and Liverpool as clubs that have already qualified.

From 2016-17 to 2018-19, PSG were eliminated at the round of 16 three consecutive times, but have now reached the quarters in consecutive Champions League campaigns.

“I’m very happy because it was a tough, tough game,” Navas said. “We all wanted to play a big game and take advantage of the first leg to qualify.

“It was a very great match for Barca, they pushed to the maximum. We are very motivated to continue in this competition with this state of mind.

“We must be united for this competition. The group has clear objectives in mind. This is what helps us to progress to go far in this competition.”

Before the quarter-finals though, PSG find themselves in the midst of a tight battle in Ligue 1, as they sit two points behind league-leaders Lille heading into Sunday’s match against Nantes.

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