Beckham: It's not personal

29 June 2006 12:57
David Beckham has laughed off suggestions that England's players see Saturday's World Cup quarter-final against Portugal as a chance to settle a grudge against Luiz Felipe Scolari. The 57-year-old was in charge of the Brazil side that knocked England out of the 2002 World Cup and the Portugal team that ended their hopes at Euro 2004, with both defeats coming at the last eight stage. However, Beckham insisted the players had more important things to worry about than revenge. "I think for every one of us, it would mean the world to go further than we (the current group of players) have in this competition before," said the England captain. "It's not a personal battle against Scolari or Portugal. "He is a great manager, a good person, but we are very relaxed going into this game and we're looking forward to it." Beckham also claimed the players are not particularly concerned about criticism of their cautious displays in Germany, even though FIFA president Sepp Blatter has joined the long list of hecklers. He added: "We feel under pressure to perform and win games, and that's what it's all about - winning games. "We do it our way. It's up to us to enjoy ourselves and win football matches." Portugal will be without Deco after he was sent off during their tempestuous second round victory against the Netherlands, but, with Luis Figo set to deputise in the central playmaker role, Beckham does not think the Barcelona star's absence is necessarily a good thing for England. "Luis is one of the best players in the world and has been for many years," he said of his former Real Madrid team-mate. "He's played for many big clubs and has performed well at the highest level. "He is one of the best players around and could cause problems to any team. He is one player you always have to watch."

Source: ESA