View Full Version : More fuel to the Argie fire...

19-05-2002, 04:50 PM

Diego Simeone has admitted that he deliberately cheated to get David Beckham sent off in the second round of France 1998.

The Argentina midfielder will once again come up against the England captain when the two sides meet in Saporro on June 7.

It is the first meeting of the two countries since the controversial encounter at St Etienne in 1998 when the South Americans won through in a penalty shoot-out after a pulsating 2-2 draw.

Lazio's Simeone believes the match will be one of the football's classics and added further drama to the occasion by revealing that he made a meal out of the innoculous challenge by Beckham four years ago to get him sent off.

Simeone said: "Quite apart from all the political history, the desire of the whole country is to defeat England.

"We knew that in 1998, and we know that the hearts of the Argentine people were with us.

"And every time we meet this desire to win is bigger and more heartfelt.

"This is a classic. And we play it as a classic because we are all conscious of how happy we can make our country by winning."

Speaking about the Beckham incident he added: "I had tackled him, and we both fell to the ground. As I was trying to stand up that was when he kicked me from behind.

"And I took advantage of that. And I think any person would have taken advantage of that in just the same way.

"Sometimes you get sent off and sometimes you don't.

"Unfortunately for the English team, that time they lost a player.

"Anyway, you take advantage of all the opportunities you find in your life. If you don't take advantage of a chance that comes your way you are lost."