The quarter-final of the Champions League between Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain this Wednesday (9 p.m., on RMC Sport 1) will see two of the most successful goalkeepers on the planet face off against each other: Manuel Neuer and Keylor Navas. Of course, in addition to qualifying, the unofficial title of best goalkeeper in the world will also be at stake.
Ask a Paris Saint-Germain supporter, he will undoubtedly tell you that the club’s best recruit in recent years is called Keylor Navas. If PSG is still in the race for the title of champion of France, in the home stretch of a painful season, both for heads and bodies, that it has survived another nightmare night against FC Barcelona in the Champions League, it’s thanks to him. Now, ask this same supporter what was his biggest regret at the end of the final played against Bayern Munich last year, he will certainly evoke the many opportunities missed by the club in the capital, or rather pushed back by an impassable wall. .
Navas shines on his line, Neuer extends his field of action
Paris Saint-Germain had obtained three clear chances in Lisbon, by Neymar, Mbappé and Marquinhos, all dismissed by Manuel Neuer, in his style so characteristic, close to the handball goalkeeper when he makes the splits. “We are not going to play a tennis match. We will not be face to face, one against the other,” Keylor Navas rejected in an interview with France Football this week. Nevertheless, difficult to miss this epic duel that will engage these two very great guardians, each defending his school, on the occasion of this reunion between giants, for a revenge that smells of powder.
Navas is perhaps the most impressive on his line (the PSG goalkeeper avoided nine goals for his team, compared to six for the Bayern Munich goalkeeper). Manuel Neuer stands out with a more complete profile, close to that of a field player. The German, reassuring in his kicking game, has indeed made more interventions outside his area in the last two years, in the competition, than the Costa Rican goalkeeper, who is known to be less adventurous. Elders of the caste of very great goalkeepers (35 years old for Neuer, 34 years old for Navas), their effectiveness is well established, just like their ability to regulate the temperament and attitude of their team, their area of influence. extending well beyond their pre-square.
Difficult to decide between them
If we stay on the statistics compiled over the past two years, in the Champions League, little in the end separates the two goalkeepers in terms of efficiency. In 17 matches played, Manuel Neuer and Keylor Navas have suffered the same number of shots on target per game, 4.2 for the German and 4 for Navas. The percentage of saved shots is slightly higher at Neuer (81.7% against 79.1), as is the number of saves made per game (3.5 for Neuer, 3.1 for Navas), but the difference is tiny. . Difficult to decide between them on this side, knowing that they also concede the same number of goals per game (0.8 on average).
In short, Navas is positioned as the benchmark on the European continent in the number of parades carried out in relation to the dangerousness of the shots he has had to manage until now. As for Manuel Neuer, he shines more, with a more offensive game than the Parisian goalkeeper. There remains this area where Keylor Navas shines brightly, in the exercise of the arrested penalty (2/5). The only statistic that he would be careful not to improve at the Allianz Arena tonight, because that would mean that Paris Saint-Germain is undoubtedly under the domination of Munich.