It’s been more nearly 25 years since David Beckham transformed from the nation’s darling to a villain overnight. The 1998 World Cup elimination against Argentina was the culprit.
David Beckham had his ‘eclipse moment’ on 30 June 1998 when he was sent off for kicking Diego Simeone during the World Cup eight-final against Argentina. England then crashed out in a penalty shoot-out and the nation chose the expelled star as its scapegoat.
Beckham, who was viciously vilified by football fans, has been England’s public enemy number one for months.
The criticism was indeed overwhelming. Most memorable was the newspaper headline “10 heroic Lions and one stupid boy. ” The English media can be extremely harsh and Beckham was given a hard time.
The Daily Mail even printed a front page with a dart board placing Beckham’s head in the middle. “Are you still sour? Take your anger out on our Beckham board,” read the headline.
What actually happened then? Diego Simeone, never one to play hard, brought Beckham down quite sharply from behind. The English midfielder couldn’t take it and swung his leg at the Argentine.
The referee had no choice but to send Beckham off. The game then went to penalties, where England lost.
“It’s probably harsh to say that I still feel disappointed. But I look back on that moment. We were young. Yes, I made a mistake. But I think there were certain people in teams and in football that you expect to stand up for you and support you no matter what,” Beckham later described.
“I think we’ve always had that at United. And I felt let down at the time. I didn’t really know what to think at the time.
I didn’t know what to think, what to expect, I didn’t know what was going to happen. I don’t think I’ve ever been as moved as I was when I came out of that attic and saw my mom and dad. Yes, I sobbed uncontrollably. It was hard,” the Three Lions star continued.
“I also felt that I had let quite a few people down, but I didn’t really think or expect what would happen the next few years after that. I knew it was going to be a difficult moment to come home. But I never expected it to be as bad as it was,” added the future Real Madrid player.
Source: Youtube, Daily Mail
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