This hasn’t been a good week for European goalkeepers. Hardly had we recovered from the suicide of Robert Enke, that news about Carlo Cudicini’s motorcycle accident hit the headlines, making it a particularly forgettable few days for the world’s most popular sport.
German and Hanover 96 goalie Robert Enke’s death stunned the footballing world on 10 November 2009 when he was hit by a train passing at over 150 kmph at a level crossing. A note was later recovered, the contents of which have not been publicized, confirming suicide. Enke had been battling depression for years following the death of his 2-year-old daughter to a heart complication. He and his wife had adopted another little girl earlier this year, and Enke feared that if news of his mental condition became known, they might lose their second daughter as well.
Tottenham Hotspur’s Italian goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini was in a serious traffic accident a couple of days later when his motorbike collided with a car. It resulted in two broken wrists and an injured pelvis. While Spurs are being quite circumspect about his injuries, they have been described as serious and “life-changing” by the police. (The passengers in the car escaped unhurt.)
Goalkeeping can be quite a dangerous enough job — ask Petr Cech, who now plays with a head brace — yet both Cudicini and Enke happen to be in the news off the pitch. Sadly, Enke’s troubles extended so far beyond the posts that he paid with his life. Cudicini’s prognosis is so far unknown, but he rides on the good wishes of the footballing world.