‘David Beckham let every single one of that England team down’: Michael Owen slams former team-mate for getting sent off against Argentina during 1998 World Cup and says he STILL ‘resents’ him for it 21 years on
- Michael Owen slammed David Beckham for getting sent off at 1998 World Cup
- Ex-England striker said Beckham let team down for seeing red against Argentina
- England were knocked out on penalties by Argentina in the last-16 21 years ago
- Owen wrote: ‘I’d be lying if I didn’t say that what David did that day hadn’t let every single one of that team down… I still hold some resentment about it today.’
Michael Owen has slammed David Beckham for ‘letting every England player down’ by getting sent off against Argentina in the 1998 World Cup and says he still resents him for it.
The former Manchester United star received his marching orders early in the second half of last-16 tie with the game finely poised at 2-2 for a silly kick on Diego Simeone.
In his upcoming book ‘Reboot’, which is being serialised by The Mirror, Owen was cut-throat in his assessment of Beckham’s actions that day in Saint-Etienne.
David Beckham receives red for kicking out at Diego Simeone in the 1998 World Cup
Michael Owen said Beckham let the whole team down that day and he still resents him for it
‘First of all, let me pre-empt what follows by saying that what David did probably wasn’t a red card offence in the first place,’ Owen said.
Argentina (3-3-2-2): Roa, Ayala, Chamot, Vivas, Almeyda, Zanetti, Simeone (Berti 92), Veron, Ortega, Batistuta (Crespo 68), Lopez (Gallardo 68)
Scorers: Batistuta (6), Zanetti (45)
Booked: Veron, Simeone, Almeyda, Roa
England (3-4-1-2): Seaman, Neville, Campbell, Adams, Le Saux (Southgate 71), Ince, Scholes (Merson 78), Beckham, Anderton (Batty 97), Shearer, Owen
Scorers: Shearer (10), Owen (16)
Booked: Seaman, Ince
Sent off: Beckham (47)
Argentina – Sergio Berti, scores (1-0)
England – Alan Shearer, scores (1-1)
Argentina – Hernan Crespo, saved (1-1)
England – Paul Ince, saved (1-1)
Argentina – Juan Sebastian Veron, scores (2-1)
England – Paul Merson, scores (2-2)
Argentina – Marcello Gallardo, scores (3-2)
England – Michael Owen, scores (3-3)
Argentina – Roberto Ayala, scores (4-3)
England – David Batty, saved (4-3)
‘But because his flick-out was so childish, it also seemed so much more unnecessary. People will say it was just a mistake, but my feeling is that, if you want to win World Cups, you can’t afford to make mistakes.
‘Would we have beaten Argentina with eleven men? We’ll never know – but we were playing well enough with ten at the time. Would we have gone on to beat Holland and then Brazil and so on? We’ll never know that either.
‘All I can say is that, as I sit here now writing this book, knowing how lucky a player is to appear in one World Cup, never mind more than one, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that what David did that day hadn’t let every single one of that England team down.
‘Did he deserve the abuse he got from the press afterwards? Certainly not. What human being needs to see his or her effigy being burned? But David let us down, and I still hold some resentment about it today.’
Alan Shearer’s penalty had cancelled out Gabriel Batistuta’s early strike from the spot before Owen raced past Argentina’s defence to score that iconic goal to put England ahead.
Javier Zanetti equalised just before England could get into the sanctuary of the dressing room at half-time.
Two minutes after the break, Beckham showed his immaturity by reacting angrily to a poor challenge from Simeone.
Owen had scored a wonder goal to put England 2-1 up earlier in the game against Argentina
Carlos Roa saved David Batty’s spot kick in the shootout to secure victory for Argentina
England held out for 120 minutes at 2-2 but it was penalties that cost them a place in the last eight with Argentina winning 4-3.
Beckham, who was one of the finest purveyors of a dead ball at the tournament, would have been among the five to address England’s penalties had he not been sent off.
Owen’s book has raised eyebrows with the first serialisation of it provoking a social media spat with Alan Shearer and his comments on Beckham are unlikely to go unnoticed.
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