Michael Owen Reveals He Still Resents David Beckham For 1998 Sending Off
Michael Owen has claimed that David Beckham's 'petulant' behaviour 'let every single one of his teammates down' and that he still resents his former teammate.
The two men were part of England's 1998 World Cup squad that were knocked out in the second round by Argentina on penalties. The match made Owen a hero for his brilliant solo goal and penalty in the shoot-out and made Beckham a villain after his sending off for kicking out at Diego Simeone.
Writing in his book 'Reboot,' being serialised in the Mirror, the former Liverpool striker revealed how he still resents Becks, saying, "I always admired him massively because I always felt that nobody, I repeat, nobody, worked harder than David to maximise the talent he did have.
"But after that World Cup in France, few would argue that his and my paths were different. I became the darling of English football for a period of time whereas he became the villain.
"... sitting here now, with the benefit of hindsight and perspective, I feel that what David did probably wasn't a red card offence in the first place. While it was clearly premeditated, it was immature and petulant more than it was violent. But for me, that almost makes it worse.
"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 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."
After the match the press, and fans, slaughtered Beckham for his red card, with the Mirror writing the headline '10 Heroic Lions, One Stupid Boy,' and the blame for England's defeat was placed solely at his feet.
At Premier League games early in the season the Manchester United winger continued to be booed by opposition fans every time he touched the ball.
Eventually though Beckham became a hero for the national team and became captain more for leading by example and playing his best for the Three Lions than he leadership skills.
Owen was normally accused of playing better for the national team than his club team but that became a criticism from Newcastle fans rather than something England fans praised him for.
The former striker's book is causing quite a stir after his public spat with Alan Shearer.