Usually, the same goalkeeper plays all the games during the competition, and I rarely saw the second goalkeeper playing, even less the third one.

Have there been occurrences of teams having their three goalkeepers having played during the competition?

2 Answers 2


Four teams (France, Belgium, Czechoslovakia and Greece) used their three goalkeepers:

In all, only four teams have ever used three goalkeepers in a single World Cup tournament. That's out of 371 teams to have qualified for the finals – surely time for Fifa to change the rules.

First to use a trio of keepers were France in 1978. The No1 was Jean-Paul Bertrand-Demanes who played in Les Bleus' opening game against Italy. In the second group game against Argentina, Bertrand-Demanes smashed either his back or head (it varies between reports) on a post after pulling off a save and had to be replaced by Dominique Baratelli, a 31-year-old who had made sporadic appearances since 1969. He conceded the winning goal against Argentina and was replaced for France's final group game by Dominique Dropsy. The game against Hungary was Dropsy's debut and he would go on to win another 16 caps. Neither Baratelli nor Bertrand-Demanes would ever play for the national side again.

Belgium went into the 1982 tournament with the eccentric (he served a three-month ban in 1980 after elbowing a linesman in a Belgian Cup match) but hugely talented Jean-Marie Pfaff as their first choice. Pfaff had been welcomed, somewhat apprehensively, back to the fold after missing the 1978 European Championships because of his practical joking, but he couldn't keep his inner comedian under wraps. He was dropped following the first group stage after apparently pretending to drown in the swimming pool at the team hotel. His replacement in Belgium's opening game in the second group stage was Theo Custers, whose performance against Poland was so abject it was his last ("Custers's last stand," notes the World Cup historian Cris Freddi). For the Belgian's final game Jacky Munaron took the gloves.

Also in 1982, Czechoslovakia used three keepers. Zdenek Hruska played from start to finish against Kuwait, but Stanislav Seman was preferred for the Czech's game against England. A calamitous performance – it would be his last for the national side – lasted 75 minutes before he broke a finger and was replaced by third-choice Karel Stromsik, who kept the No1 spot for the final group game.

The most recent team to use three goalkeepers in a single tournament were the hapless Greece side of 1994. The Greeks had gone undefeated through qualifying and named the experienced Antonis Minou, who had conceded only twice in five qualifiers, as No1 for the opening game against Argentina. A 4-0 defeat saw 25-year-old AEK keeper Elias Atmatsidis in goal against Bulgaria. Another 4-0 defeat followed and he was replaced by 24-year-old Christos Karkamanis for the final group game. That brought a slight improvement in fortunes – a 2-0 defeat to Nigeria.

Source: The Guardian (Internet Archive).


There already is an answer which provides several occurrences of this happening. (And which probably is complete until the source of that answer was published, which is shortly before 2010 FIFA World Cup.)

Let us collect collaboratively in this community wiki answer other occurrences that we are able to find.

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