France goalkeeper Steve Mandanda has confirmed he will miss the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ after suffering a neck injury in Marseille's final match of the French Ligue 1 season. The 27-year-old collided with Guingamp striker Mustapha Yatabare during the first half of an eventual 1-0 victory for Marseille at the Stade Velodrome on Saturday.
Marseille announced Mandanda had suffered a cracked vertebra, immediately putting his World Cup place in jeopardy, and Mandanda used his Twitter account to confirm the news on Sunday. "It is with sadness that I announce that unfortunately I will not be able to keep my place in the World Cup squad," he wrote. "I wish the team of France a World Cup full of success."
Mandanda had been named alongside goalkeepers Hugo Lloris of Tottenham Hotspur and Bastia's Mickael Landreau in France's 23-man squad for the Brazil finals, with Stephane Ruffier of Saint-Etienne now expected to be called up from the reserve list.
Speaking on Saturday evening, Marseille club doctor Christophe Baudot moved to allay fears of any neurological damage. "Steve has suffered a crack on his first cervical vertebra," Baudot told Marseille's official website. "We are still to learn the length of time he needs to recover, he must go for further tests on Monday.
"However, there is no neurological problem. He returned home in a medical transport after undergoing tests. He is wearing a neck brace, but he is fine."