Four more players who refused to be subbed after Arrizabalaga’s Wembley defiance

Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga refused to come off in the final minutes of the Carabao Cup final in what appeared a stunning act of defiance against manager Maurizio Sarri.

But while his actions shocked those watching, they were not unprecedented.

Here, Football Paradise looks at four players who would not answer the call when their number went up.

Lukasz Fabianski – Swansea

Swansea City v Tottenham Hotspur – Premier League – Liberty Stadium
Lukasz Fabianski was hurt late in Swansea’s match against Tottenham but refused to go off – before conceding three late goals (Nick Potts/PA).

The most clear comparison came in 2017 when Swans keeper Lukasz Fabianski was hurt late in their match against Tottenham, colliding with Vincent Janssen in the 81st minute. As a stretcher was readied, manager Paul Clement told reserve Kristoffer Nordfeldt to get ready. Fabianski insisted he was fine and play resumed, but the goalkeeper continued to hold his rib, even as he made a fine save to deny Dele Alli. Clement made the decision to replace Fabianski and his number went up in the 86th minute, but Fabianski refused. After continued remonstrations, Clement turned to the fourth official to cancel the change, and Jon Moss – the man in charge of Sunday’s Carabao Cup final – waved play on. It was not the end of the story, however, as Fabianski let in three goals in the final minutes of an extraordinary match, turning a 1-0 lead into a 3-1 defeat.

Carlos Tevez – Manchester City

Soccer – FA Cup – Final – Manchester City v Stoke City – Wembley Stadium
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini (left) accused Carlos Tevez of refusing to come on against Bayern Munich (Nick Potts/PA)

Roberto Mancini accused Carlos Tevez of refusing to come on as a substitute for Manchester City in their Champions League match against Bayern Munich in September 2011. Tevez denied ignoring his manager’s instructions, blaming the incident on a misunderstanding. Nevertheless, it would be the start of a lengthy stand-off between the pair which saw Tevez banished from the club for five months before returning to play a dramatic role in them securing the Premier League title.

Nikola Kalinic – Croatia

Tottenham Hotspur v Fiorentina – UEFA Europa League – Round of 32 – Second Leg – White Hart Lane
Nikola Kalinic has not played for Croatia since being sent home from the World Cup in disgrace (Adam Davy/PA)

Croatia striker Nikola Kalinic was sent home from last summer’s World Cup in disgrace after Zlatko Dalic said he had refused to come on as a substitute in their group match against Nigeria. Dalic said Kalinic had claimed he was not fit to play, but that was not good enough for the manager, who pointed to a string of similar incidents in the past. The 31-year-old, capped 41 times, has not played for his country since.

Les Sealey – Manchester United

Soccer – Rumbelows League Cup – Fourth Round – Arsenal v Manchester United
Les Sealey played through the pain as United did not not have a reserve goalkeeper (Tony Harris/PA)

Kepa is not the first goalkeeper to refuse to leave the pitch during a League Cup final, but Les Sealey’s actions in the 1991 Rumbelow’s Cup Final earned praise, not scorn. The Manchester United goalkeeper suffered a badly gashed knee with 12 minutes remaining, but knowing there was no reserve keeper on the bench, he refused to have an outfield player replace him in goal and limped through the remainder of the match. He conceded no further goals, though John Sheridan’s 37th minute strike was already enough for Sheffield Wednesday to lift the cup with a 1-0 victory.

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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