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Friday, 17 May, 2002, 23:55 GMT 00:55 UK
Canizares out of World Cup
Spain goalkeeper Santiago Canizares
Canizares was Spain's first choice keeper
Spain goalkeeper Santiago Canizares will miss the World Cup after a freak mishap in his hotel room at the team's training base in Jerez, Spain.

Canizares severed a tendon in his right foot after he accidentally smashed a bottle of aftershave and a shard of glass penetrated his flesh.

The 32-year-old, who has won 35 caps for Spain and is the team's first-choice keeper, was taken to Jerez general hospital where he underwent surgery.

He managed to put on a brave face after being told that his World Cup was over.

Open Quote
It was a terrible piece of bad luck for Canizares and I am certainly not happy
Close Quote
Real Madrid's
Iker Casillas

"I do not consider myself to be unlucky by any means," Canizares told reporters at the team's training base.

"From the start of my career I have had several strokes of good luck.

"But, just like everyone else, I have also had difficult times which I have had to cope with.

"Now I have to overcome this blow to my morale, and in my case that may take a week or just three days.

"No-one makes their way in the world of football without having to overcome obstacles.

"I still believe that the best moments of my career are yet to come and, health permitting, I will be aiming to be successful in the next World Cup."

The Valencia keeper will be replaced by Malaga's uncapped Pedro Contreras, while Canizares' place in the starting line-up is now likely to be taken by Real Madrid's Iker Casillas.

Agonising month

"It was a terrible piece of bad luck for Canizares and I am certainly not happy because a team-mate has been injured," said Casillas.

"But football is like that. Now Ricardo, Contreras and myself will have to fight it out for the place and any of us could be chosen."

The injury is a bitter blow to Canizares, who was Spain's second choice goalkeeper at the last World Cup.

He had only recently established himself as Spain's number one.

Doctors said Canizares would be immobilised for about a month before beginning his rehabilitation.

The Spain squad leaves for South Korea and Japan on Monday.


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