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French goalkeeper will miss World Cup with devastating injury

May 18, 2014, 12:01 PM EST

Steve Mandanda Getty Images

French goalkeeper Steve Mandanda will miss out on a trip to Brazil, thanks to a devastating injury suffered on Saturday night.

The Marseille ‘keeper was withdrawn after 23 minutes on Saturday, following a collision with Guingamp striker Mustapha Yatabare. Marseille went on to win 1-0 thanks to a strike from Andre Ayew, but the victory must have seemed rather hollow.

Later reports revealed that Mandanda cracked his vertebrae and suffered a cervical sprain. He will need to wear a neck brace for three weeks, and then spend a few more weeks in physiotherapy.

And with the World Cup just four weeks away, that means the 27-year-old will not be representing France this year. He was named on Didier Deschamps’ roster for Brazil, along with fellow goalkeepers Hugo Lloris, at Tottenham, and Mickael Landreau, at Bastia. His place is now likely to be taken by Stephane Ruffier, currently at Saint-Étienne.

Mandanda has represented France 16 times, and began the 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign as their first choice goalkeeper. By the time South Africa rolled around, the job had gone to Hugo Lloris, and Mandanda did not appear in any of France’s three matches in the 2010 tournament. He has been at Marseille since 2007, and is currently captain of the Ligue 1 side.

  1. hildezero - May 18, 2014 at 2:11 PM

    Damn… That sucks. He’s one of the best goalkeepers in all of Europe. He’s the captain for his club in one of the best leagues in the world. Marseille are one of the best clubs in all of Europe and also plays for one of the best national teams in all of Europe with France. It’s a big loss for Marseille and France, especially France with the 2014 FIFA World Cup coming up.

  2. chunkala - May 19, 2014 at 10:50 PM

    Was Marseille playing for anything?
    If not, why was he even playing?

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