Costa Rica vs Greece: Shootout success aided by Gekas TV advert

Adidas Brazuca

Keylor Navas claims that his time at Levante with Theofanis Gekas informed which way he went but did a Greek TV advert from Euro 2012 also offer clues?

While England’s Joe Hart will no doubt be ruing his decision to star in a series of World Cup themed TV adverts for the likes of Doritos and Head & Shoulders, following the Three Lions early exit, one man no doubt thankful for football-themed clips of this kind is Keylor Navas.

Fresh from starring in Costa Rica’s second round shootout success over Greece, the 27-year-old goalkeeper may have someone rather unusual to thank for saving Theofanis Gekas’ spot-kick: Vodafone.

Rewind two years to the build-up of Euro 2012, and the Greece striker was starring for the telecommunications company in their latest football-themed effort designed to coincide with the tournament.

At the time Gekas would have thought little of the ad, which saw him feature alongside three of his Ethniki teammates in a 40-second commercial in which the Bundesliga hotshot went head-to-head with a small child from the penalty spot.

Stepping up to take the kick, as he would do two years on against Navas, Gekas shot to the goalkeeper’s right, prompting a salmon-like leap and save from the youngster that was eerily similar to the one made by the Costa Rican last night.

Navas has so far failed to mention the Vodafone advert as the inspiration for his incredible save though, instead pointing to the time he spent with Gekas in La Liga at Levante during an interview published by FIFA.com

"We played together at Levante and I remembered what he used to do in training," he said.

"I was confident he wasn't going to change the way he takes his penalties and in the end I was able to keep it out.

Check out the clip for the advert below and decide for yourselves!

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