Drągowski with World Cup heartbreak

(Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images)

Poland international goalkeeper Bartlomiej Drągowski suffered World Cup heartbreak on Sunday. Just three days after being confirmed in Czesław Michniewicz’s squad for the World Cup, the Spezia goalkeeper suffered a cruel injury which will rule him out of the tournament.

In the 38th minute of Spezia’s Serie A away trip to Hellas Verona, Drągowski raced toward the right-hand touchline to clear a Hellas attack, only to be challenged by the onrushing Kevin Lasagna. Though Drągowski won the ball, his foot caught on the turf and collided with Lasagna, which twisted his ankle in an unnatural position. As he writhed around in agony, it was immediately clear his tournament was over before it had even begun.

Initial thoughts were that Drągowski had broken his ankle, but some unofficial reports have since said that it is likely the keeper had torn ligaments. Either way, a lengthy spell on the sidelines is likely, potentially scuppering any possibility of a winter transfer.

Prior to Michniewicz selecting his squad, there was some debate over whether the coach would select three or four goalkeepers. In the end he opted for three, with Drągowski ahead of the excluded Kamil Grabara of Copenhagen. The PZPN’s Press Officer, Jakub Kwiatkowski, later confirmed that Grabara would be called to replace Drągowski.

Additionally, it was reported on Saturday that Michniewicz had opted to take a fourth goalkeeper to Qatar. Although not included in the 26-man squad, Legia Warsaw’s young stopper Kasper Tobiasz will travel with the squad in order to take part in training sessions and give him the experience of a major international tournament.

Poland will face Chile on Wednesday at the Stadion Wojska Polskiego, before travelling to Qatar the following day.

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