Newcastle 'keeper Martin Dubravka will only get a Carabao Cup winners' medal if his side LOSES to Manchester United
Toon goalie Martin Dubravka will only get a winners' medal if his side loses in Sunday's Carabao Cup final against Manchester United
Barring the odd closet Sunderland fan, it will be almost impossible to find anybody in the city of Newcastle not wanting the Magpies to triumph in this Sunday's Carabao Cup final.
Eddie Howe's side have exceeded expectations by reaching a final this season, and Toon fans will descend on Wembley in droves in the hope of witnessing a first trophy win since 1955. But one person in the Newcastle squad could be forgiven for wanting the result to go the other way. That's because Toon gloveman Martin Dubravka will get his hands on a winners' medal only if Manchester United prove victorious.
Dubravka spent the first half of the current season on loan at Old Trafford, making two cup appearances for the Red Devils before being recalled by Newcastle in January.
Carabao Cup winners are given 30 medals for winning the competition – 19 for the players in the matchday squad for the final plus an extra 11 for players and staff of their choice. Dubravka would almost certainly be offered a medal by Man United for his contribution in the earlier rounds, should the favourites win.
“I played two games for Manchester United so I knew that I can't play in the final or be there for the players," Dubravka said after Saturday's Premier League defeat to Liverpool. "It's a very strange situation for me as well but that sometimes happens and hopefully it's up to someone else they can show they can play in front of 90,000 people. It will be very strange for obvious reasons and very difficult to watch this game.”
Dubravka suggested he could be of some use to Newcastle's coaching staff, having seen how Manchester United prepare for matches first hand earlier in the season, before rubbishing any suggestion of split loyalties ahead of the final.
"Man United probably know that I am here and I know some tactics and information,” he said. "If they stick with the plan [I know], who knows? It is hard to say.
“I want Newcastle to win. I've spent so many years here and I'm very grateful for the chance the club gave me in English football. You didn't even need to ask me that. It will be interesting to see. Let's see who will win it, I really hope we can achieve this. With Newcastle, the people of the city deserve something after so many years. And it would be absolutely amazing to win something like this."
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Get FourFourTwo Newsletter
The best features, fun and footballing quizzes, straight to your inbox every week.
Ed is a staff writer at FourFourTwo, working across the magazine and website. A German speaker, he’s been working as a football reporter in Berlin since 2015, predominantly covering the Bundesliga and Germany's national team. Favourite FFT features include an exclusive interview with Jude Bellingham following the youngster’s move to Borussia Dortmund in 2020, a history of the Berlin Derby since the fall of the Wall and a celebration of Kevin Keegan’s playing career.