Football: Injury puts Peruzzi out of the World Cup

ANGEL PERUZZI, Italy's first- choice goalkeeper, is out of the World Cup finals after pulling a calf muscle during training yesterday. Gianluca Pagliuca will step up in his place and Fiorentina's Francesco Toldo will be promoted into the squad.

The Juventus keeper fell to the ground in obvious pain after jumping for a ball in a morning practice session at the team's training camp at Coverciano, near Florence. "I'm very upset," he said. "Now I'll have to sweat another four years to go to the next World Cup."

He added: "Pagliuca is a great goalkeeper, one of the best in the world. He's sure to do great in the World Cup."

Peruzzi did not play in the 1994 World Cup finals but has been a regular for Italy during the past three years, winning 22 caps. He has also been a key figure in the Juventus team that won the last two Serie A titles and reached consecutive European Cup finals.

Italy's World Cup veteran Roberto Baggio is doubtful for tomorrow's game against Sweden, Italy's last warm-up before the finals, after bruising his lower back. Alessandro Del Piero, who is still recovering from a thigh strain, will also be absent.

Concern about Dennis Bergkamp's participation in the final continues. The Arsenal striker has not played a competitive game since 29 April because of the hamstring injury which also cost him his place in and the FA Cup final.

"It was too risky to play him against Cameroon," the coach Guus Hiddink said. "I feel he should be back but, at the moment, nothing is certain."

Veteran keeper Andoni Zubizarreta has suffered a new muscle injury that will force him to miss Spain's final warm-up match. Zubizarreta, 36, will be out of action for five to eight days after straining his left leg. Real Madrid's Santiago Canizares will take his place against Northern Ireland.

To the surprise of many, Roma striker Abel Balbo joined up with Argentina on Saturday, having refused to play in the qualifiers after the first two rounds. "I said at the time I wouldn't play the qualifiers because the long trips from Europe tired me out," he said.

Until a few days ago, the favourites to fill the last remaining place in the squad were striker Claudio Caniggia, like Balbo a veteran of the last two World Cups, and midfielder Christian Bassedas. "I did everything I could to be in the team," Caniggia said.

Brazilian striker Romario has announced he will be fit to play for his country against Scotland in the opening match of the on 10 June.

Romario, who had maintained a four-day media silence as he struggled to overcome a nagging calf muscle injury, said: "I have faith in God that I will be available for the coach to pick me if he wants. I can't guarantee that I will be one 100 per cent match fit by then but I will be fit enough to play."

Romario denied that assistant coach Zico had told them that he would not be considered for the squad if he did not train normally by tomorrow, Fifa's deadline. Marcio Santos and Flavio Conceicao have already been dropped, controversially, because of injury.

Three English-based players have been named in South Africa's squad, but Barnsley's midfielder Eric Tinkler misses out. Lucas Radebe, of Leeds, and Mark Fish, of Bolton, will join up with Fulham's Andre Arendse in coach Philippe Troussier's 22-man squad, which also includes former Leeds striker Phil Masinga, now with Bari.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Photographer / Floorplanner / Domestic Energy Assessor

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Surrey - £40,000

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Assistant

£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £35,000

£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence