Manchester United reject gets World Cup nod ahead of Barca-bound stopper

Ron-Robert Zieler is to be Germany's third choice keeper at the upcoming World Cup in Brazil...not Marc Andre ter Stegen.

Manchester United certainly have a great record when it comes to spotting talent and giving it the opportunity to shine. Over the years plenty of young players have come through the ranks at Old Trafford to become stars for the side.

However some slip through the net - with the likes of Giussepe Rossi, Gerard Pique and Paul Pogba good examples.

Another such player is Hannover goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler.

The German played for United between 2005 and 2010 after arriving from FC Koln as a teenager.

However he struggled to cement a place as the first-choice reserve team keeper with the likes of Ben Amos and Tom Heaton keeping him stranded on the bench. In the end he decided to return to his homeland and signed for Hannover in April 2010.

Since then he has gone on to become their number one stopper and has also made in-roads on the international stage.

Zieler received his first call up to the international scene in August 2011 - and made his debut against Ukraine in November 2011.

His international career has however been one to forget so far. He has played twice for Jogi Low’s team, with both games seeing him break unwanted records.

He became the first keeper to concede three goals on debut for Germany since 1954 and in his second appearance against Argentina became the first ever goalkeeper sent off for Germany.

Not ideal.

So it will perhaps come as a surprise to see his name on the German national team squad list for the upcoming World Cup in Brazil. Zieler, who has been in top form for Hannover this season, is set to be the third choice stopper behind Manuel Neuer and Roman Weidenfeller after they were all selected in the 30 man preliminary squad.

Rene Adler has been poor between the sticks for struggling Hamburg SV recently but it is surprising to see he has beat Marc Andre ter Stegen to the punch - the Borussia Monchengladbach custodian on his way to Barcelona this summer.

Zieler is certainly looking like one that got away for United - and this recent fillip is the latest example of just why United must be regretting letting him go.

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch