Cologne catastrophe for Canizares

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The Independent Football

When the Spain goalkeeper Santiago Cañizares reached for the cologne bottle, he did not exactly come up smelling of roses. As a result of a freak accident he has been ruled out of the World Cup.

When the Spain goalkeeper Santiago Cañizares reached for the cologne bottle, he did not exactly come up smelling of roses. As a result of a freak accident he has been ruled out of the World Cup.

The Valencia player, who was set to be Spain's first-choice keeper, suffered a cut tendon in his big toe after he accidentally smashed the bottle against the bathroom sink and a shard of glass dropped on to his foot.

The Spain coach Camacho summoned Malaga's uncapped Pedro Contreras to Spain's training camp in Jerez, with Real Madrid's Iker Casillas likely to become first choice.

The accident came three days after the 23-player Spanish squad gathered to prepare for the finals.

For someone who had just been deprived of one of the highlights of his career, Cañizares was remarkably philosophical. "From the start of my career I have had several strokes of good luck," he said. "But I have also had difficult times. Now I have to overcome this blow to my morale... and in my case that may take a week or just three days. But I have got over other things and I can get over this. I will have to fight hard, but that is part of my job... no one makes their way in the world of football without having to overcome obstacles."

Such a balanced view... aren't goalkeepers supposed to be mad?

Denmark warmed up with a 2-1 win over Cameroon in Copenhagen thanks to an own goal from Lucien Mettomo and a Jon Dahl Tomasson penalty. Modeste Mbami's pulled one back late on.

"Cameroon gave us severe problems," Denmark's coach, Moreten Olsen, said. "Physically they were on top of us and even Thomas Gravesen lost the direct duels and that says a lot." Denmark face the surprise African qualifier Senegal in their opening group.

In Ljubljana, Slovenia took on another African side, Ghana, winning 2-0. Zlatko Zahovic put them ahead from a free-kick in 25th minute, and just before half-time, the Unterhaching midfielder Dzoni Novak scored the second.

Germans are not optimistic that their national side will add to their three World Cups, according to an opinion poll published yesterday. Only six per cent of Germans believe Rudi Völler's side, who on Tuesday lost 1-0 to a Wales side ranked 96th in the world, will make the World Cup final, and only five per cent said they would win it. In fact, 70 per cent believe they will be knocked out in or before the quarter-finals, while 16 per cent think they will not survive their group.

Völler's preparations have been disrupted by injuries. On Friday, the Borussia Dortmund defender Christian Wörns joined a list that includes central defender Jens Nowotny and midfielder Mehmet Scholl.

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