Schmeichel: Lack of minutes will not affect World Cup goalkeepers

The Danish legend believes a lack of playing time with club sides will not unduly affect top-class custodians at the World Cup.  

Spain, Brazil and Argentina are short-priced favourites to win the World Cup when it kicks off in under a week's time, but the three countries also have something in common.

All three nations will have first choice goalkeepers who have not featured much at club level this season.

Spain's Iker Casillas has been relegated to cup duty at Real Madrid, Brazil's Julio Cesar went on loan at Major League Soccer (MLS) side Toronto FC in a bid to gain some valuable playing time, while Argentina's Sergio Romero has hardly figured at Monaco.

However, former Danish No. 1 Peter Schmeichel believes that the lack of minutes will not affect how they perform on the big stage when the tournament begins.

"We're talking about a level which shouldn't affect them," he told FourFourTwo while attending Sony Mobile's Xperia Z2 event in Singapore.

“You can even argue that they will come into this tournament with incredible hunger and the desire to play which is only going to benefit the team.

“We’re talking about top-quality goalkeepers here, they don’t need to have run-in to tournaments or as much action as someone who is young and inexperienced.”

Casillas is a special case, having lost his first team spot to Diego Lopez under former head coach Jose Mourinho, yet still finding opportunities limited under Carlo Ancelotti.

Spain's longtime first-choice custodian was then given the nod for his team's UEFA Champions League final against city rivals Atletico Madrid, but could only watch on in horror as an error in judgement led to him conceding the opening goal.

The blunder could easily have cost Los Blancos their precious 10th European title, but Schmeichel was quick to rubbish claims that the 33-year-old's error was down to a lack of match fitness.

"These things just happen," he said.

“You can go back 20 years in your careers and see your mistakes, sometimes you just can’t explain why you did that.

"These are spilt-second decisions and you act on instinct and have nothing to do with match fitness.”

Having enjoyed plenty of success at both club and international level, Schmeichel believes that the Spanish No. 1's winning mentality will prove crucial in their quest to clinch an unprecedented fourth successive major title.

“If I’m the manager of Spain, I wouldn’t be worried at all,” he said.

“If you’re a young and inexperienced keeper, perhaps you may not be worried that he hasn’t played all season.

“In reality, you don't need match fitness (to be a good goalkeeper). If you need that, you are not good enough.

“Iker has played so many games at the top level and was voted the best goalkeeper in the world for so many years.

"He should be able to cope with not playing for 10 months and still playing at the top level.

“It’s not just about playing in big games; it’s also about winning them. You know how tough it is to win and get over the line?

"I’m sure the coach prefers that kind of experience.”