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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Beckham Defends Eduardo

David Beckham spoke out today in defence of Arsenal forward Eduardo da Silva, who recently received a two-match European ban from UEFA as punishment for diving during the Gunners' second-leg Champions League play-off tie against Celtic at the Emirates on August 26.

The England midfielder, who could line up opposite Eduardo in a World Cup qualifier on Wednesday, is unhappy with the 26-year-old Croatian's widespread vilification, and believes it is important to remember how the former Dinamo Zagreb standout fought back from a horrific leg break which kept him out of action for a year.

"There has been far too much talk about diving," said Beckham.
"No-one wants to see it and it is disappointing when it happens. But it happens every week and Eduardo is not the first person to have done it.

"The whole thing should be put to bed.

"Eduardo is a great player. It is not that long ago that he suffered an horrific injury.

"You don't know what was going through his mind. He might have been trying to get out of the way of a tackle so he didn't get injured again."

It's unclear how these words will go over with England manager Fabio Capello, who is known to take a dim view of diving and has admitted to admonishing his own teammates during his time as an Italian international for unsporting behaviour.

The former Real Madrid boss has similar expectations for his current squad, revealed Beckham.

"The manager has high expectations of the players, on and off the pitch," he said.

"You always have to behave in the right way, whether you are playing or just walking round the hotel."

Beckham's former manager, Manchester United's Sir Alex Ferguson, announced his satisfaction with UEFA's verdict last week and insisted steps should be taken to prevent simulation throughout Europe.

"Something should be done and we hope the message gets across," said Ferguson. "It was a high-profile game and something has to be done."

Meanwhile, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been very vocal in his opposition to the decision, branding UEFA's investigation a "witch-hunt".

As a result of the ban, Eduardo will miss Arsenal's group stage ties against Standard Liege and Olympiacos.

Jeremy Brown

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