David Beckham opens up on crying ‘uncontrollably’ after his red card in the 1998 World Cup
David Beckham has revealed he sobbed ‘out of control’ after his dismissal against Argentina at the 1998 World Cup, but admits he felt let down by his England team-mates for not supporting him.
Beckham was sent off for kicking Diego Simeone’s leg with his heel in their round of 16 stage defeat, in which he lunged at the Argentina captain after pushing him to the ground.
The former Manchester United and Real Madrid winger then had to watch as England lost the match on penalties.
David Beckham has said he sobbed ‘out of control’ after his departure from the 1998 World Cup
Beckham was sent off for kicking Diego Simeone’s leg with his heel
Beckham sat on the bench for the first two games of the tournament and had only reappeared in the final group game against Colombia, in which he scored a stunning free kick.
But speaking of former United and England teammate Gary Neville’s the overlap YouTube channel, he revealed that frustration over a lack of playing time was not behind his dismissal, but that it was essential for him to enjoy a successful career.
“I remember how hard it was,” he said. “It was a difficult tournament to start with, it got better than really bad.
‘That was a difficult start’ [not getting picked for the first two games]What happened next was tough across the board. I never felt frustrated while playing those games.
Beckham admitted he felt let down by his England team-mates for not supporting him
He spoke to former Man United and England teammate Gary Neville on the Overlap
“I don’t remember going on that field to prove a point because I was left out in other matches. It was just a moment when I reacted – it really was a moment of madness.
“When I look back on my career and talk about regret, I wish that had never happened. But then again, if it hadn’t happened, I might not have had the career I had.
‘It’s probably hard to say I still feel let down’ [by team-mates] but I look back on that moment – we were young. I made a mistake, but certain people in football are expected to be behind you no matter what. We always had that at United, but I felt let down.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been as emotional as when I got out of that ground and saw my mom and dad. I cried uncontrollably sobbing, which is a little embarrassing. At that moment the Argentinian coach passed and they were all banging [on the window]†
Beckham was constantly booed and booed by opposition club fans for most of the following 1998-99 season, with a burning effigy of him and death threats being the worst responses to his red card.
Beckham revealed that then United boss Sir Alex Ferguson called him to check in with him
But the 47-year-old has revealed how an encouraging chat with then club boss Sir Alex Ferguson and the welcome from United fans at home to Leicester in the first game of the new Premier League season helped him overcome the abuse.
“I didn’t even think and expect what would happen in the coming years. I knew it would be a difficult time to go back home, but I never expected it to be as bad as it was.
‘The morning after [Sir Alex] called me early to say ”are you okay son?”. I said yes and I got emotional for him. He said ‘don’t worry, go away and come back to the club and you’ve got us”. That was all I needed to hear.
“He said, go somewhere quiet. I’ve been to New York! My wife Victoria was there and I went to meet her. It was probably the worst place I could have gone.
‘I’m back’ [from the World Cup] and walked through the airport and was absolutely abused by that one TV reporter who said I was going to abandon my parents and grandparents.
He was booed by opposition fans for much of the following season for his red card
“Every game that season, except every time we played at Old Trafford, was terrible. Every talk show, wherever I went, every time I threw gas in the car, I was abused.
“Whether it was in Manchester or London, it didn’t matter. What helped me through that season was the United fans, I was nervous for that first game anyway because I didn’t know what reaction I was going to get.
‘I passed that first corner with the ball, and I looked up and the whole stand stood up. That’s how I got through that season.’
Beckham scored one last gasp in that game and was instrumental in United winning the treble that season, scoring nine goals and providing double the assists in 54 games.
The Overlap is a YouTube channel by Gary Neville in association with Sky Bet.
He also revealed how the positive reception from United fans against Leicester helped him