10 international goalkeepers who suffered pre-tournament heartbreak

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Though there were plenty of positives to be drawn from England's two international friendlies over the past four days, the one major downer from otherwise eventful friendly encounters concerned Jack Butland.

Injured and now likely to miss out on Euro 2016 in France, the Stoke City goalkeeper has been left understandably distraught by the news.

But Butland won't be the first big name goalkeeper to miss out on a World Cup, European Championship or Copa America as these 10 big name examples demonstrate.


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1. Angelo Peruzzi – World Cup 1998

A Champions League and Serie A winner with Juventus in the mid 1990s, Peruzzi replaced Gianluca Pagliuca as Italy's no.1 for Euro '96 but two years later an injury in the build up to the World Cup saw the Italian miss out.

"I regret it so much, I really wanted to go to France, and perhaps it is a the sign that I shall not play a World Cup in my life,” he told Rai Sport with Pagliuca brought back in his absence.

Though he ultimately failed to play at a FIFA finals, Peruzzi was part of the Italy squad that lifted the trophy in 2006, garnering praise for his leadership qualities behind the scenes.

2. Steve Mandanda – World Cup 2014

Despite Hugo Lloris being the outstanding choice to be France's number one at the 2014 World Cup, Mandanda emerged as second choice to lead Les Bleus towards the Jules Rimet Trophy.

But Mandanda would ultimately miss out on the tournament after a serious head collision with Guingamp striker Mustapha Yatabare left the shot-stopper with a serious neck injury.

'It's with sadness that I announce that unfortunately I will not be able to hold my spot in the World Cup squad,” he announced on Twitter, per the Daily Mail.

Though disappointed, Mandanda can at least look back knowing he avoided a quarter-final knockout at the hands of eventual winners Germany.

3. Rene Higuita – World Cup 1994

The original sweeper keeper, Higuita had been part of the Colombia team that wowed in qualifying for World Cup 1994 and had been expected to star during the finals in the US.

But Higuita would ultimately miss the World Cup after becoming involved in a kidnapping plot involving Pablo Escobar in which the goalkeeper acted as a seemingly unwitting go-between, though he did receive a fee for his services.

Imprisoned for several months before being released without charge, he was nevertheless deemed ineligible for the World Cup.

4. Victor Valdes – World Cup 2014

The former Barcelona goalkeeper and one-time Manchester United bench warmer had
already declared his intentions to leave the Nou Camp by the time disaster struck.

Struck down with an anterior cruciate ligament injury to his knee, Valdes' career has arguably never quite recovered from this setback with the ex-Barca man forced to watch on as Iker Casillas endured a World Cup to forget with Spain exiting in the group phase.

5. Jose Luis Chilavert – Copa America 1999

Included in the FIFA all-star squad for the 1998 World Cup, Paraguay were due to host the Copa America a year later with the free-kick taking Chilavert seen as the ideal poster boy for the South American tournament.

But Chilavert had other ideas and flat out refused to play for Paraguay in the competition, claiming that the money spent on the organisation of the tournament could have been used to fund education reform in his homeland.

Paraguay went on to lose to Uruguay in the quarter finals. On penalties.

6. Santiago Canizares – World Cup 2002

Having been first choice for Spain at Euro 2000, Canizares headed into the 2002 World Cup in great form, having reached two Champions League finals with Valencia in the intervening years.

But, in a strange twist of fate, an accident in his hotel room at Spain's Jerez training camp saw the goalkeeper sever a tendon in his right foot after accidentally standing on a smashed bottle of aftershave.

“It was a terrible piece of bad luck for Canizares and I am certainly not happy,” his replacement Iker Casillas told the press. Canizares never regained his place in the first-team.

7. Rene Adler – World Cup 2010

Though it seems strange to think it now, there was once a time when Manuel Neuer was far from a guaranteed starter for Germany.

At the 2010 World Cup, Rene Adler was expected to go toe-to-toe with Neuer for a starting spot with Die Mannschaft in a scenario similar to the one faced by Oliver Kahn and Jens Lehmann four years earlier.

However, the then-Bayer Leverkusen shot-stopper suffered pre-tournament heartbreak after picking up a rib injury that ruled him out of the trip to South Africa.

Neuer was promoted to undisputed first choice, with Adler remaining an understudy ever since.

8. Quim – World Cup 2002

Having represented Portugal at every level from under-16 upwards, Quim finally established himself as first-choice goalkeeper in qualifying for the 2002 World Cup.

However, he missed out on the tournament in Japan and South Korea after failing a drugs test.

Understudy to Ricardo in the next two major tournaments, Quim would suffer one last blow after a wrist injury saw him miss out on Euro 2008, a tournament many had tipped the shot-stopper to finally shine in.

9. Gianluigi Buffon – Euro 2000

Despite being on course for a record-breaking number of World Cups with Italy, Buffon endured a shaky start to life with the Azzurri after missing out on proceedings in Holland and Belgium.

Picked as Italy's no.1 by manager Dino Zoff, Buffon was absent from the final 23-man party after breaking his hand during a pre-tournament warm-up game against Norway.

Francesco Toldo was promoted in his place and, though he impressed against hosts the Netherlands in the semi-finals, he failed to prevent France's late equaliser in the final with Italy going on to lose 2-1 in extra time.

10. David Seaman – World Cup 1990

Much like Butland, Seaman looked all set to head to Italy as one of England's two back-up goalkeepers in a tournament that was seen as the ideal opportunity for the Arsenal favourite to gain some much needed international tournament experience.

Behind Peter Shilton and Chris Woods in the England pecking order, injury forced Seaman to return home early from Italy with Dave Beasant replacing him in the Three Lions squad.

He would have to wait until Euro '96 before cementing his place as first choice.

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