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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jul 10, 2006

How the world viewed negative England

England's performances during their World Cup campaign were roundly criticised by the world's media.

After the quarter-final exit to Portugal, every aspect of the team was dissected, from the continuing failure to win a penalty shoot-out to Wayne Rooney's dismissal in the same game and the under-performance of some of the team's biggest names.

Italian newspaper Gazzetta was particularly vociferous when it stated: 'England made no progress from their opening match.

'(Steven) Gerrard and (Frank) Lampard have been shockingly ineffective throughout the World Cup, while Rooney went mad in the most delicate moment and (David) Beckham, before sustaining an injury, was non-existent.

'If only all the players had given their soul as (Owen) Hargreaves did.'

French paper L'Equipe preferred to focus on the spot-kick failures, under the headline 'The incredible curse'.

'For the fifth time since 1990 England were eliminated from a big tournament in a penalty shoot-out - but did they truly deserve better?' the paper asked.

'Apart from their Euro 96 quarter-final against Spain, England have never managed to overcome this burden that requires so much skill and nerve.

'Out of their last eight major tournaments, England have bowed out for the fifth time after this cruel and random exercise.

'Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher, some of their most famous and experienced players, failed. That is symbolic.'

Brazil's Jornal da Tarde newspaper compared Rooney's aberration in stamping on Ricardo Carvalho to that of David Beckham during the 1998 World Cup when England were eliminated at the hands of Argentina.

Beckham kicked out at Diego Simeone during the second-round clash in St Etienne eight years ago in a similar moment of indiscipline.

'Rooney was the Beckham of 2006,' claimed the Brazilian newspaper's headline.

The article which followed read: 'The forward's dismissal made it hard for the team, just like in the World Cup played in France.

'Wayne Rooney is the 2006 version of David Beckham. Each of them arrived at the Cup as England's big hope, but jeopardised their team's chances by being sent off for kicking their opponents in a knock-out game.'

Argentinian newspapers Ole and Clarin praised countryman Horacio Elizondo after the referee made the decision to dismiss England's talisman.

'Elizondo took his time to show the red card to Rooney and it seemed to be because of pushing Cristiano Ronaldo, but the referee saw everything very closely and delivered the correct sanction,' said Ole.

Clarin added: 'The Argentinian referee dealt well with another difficult test. He had no doubts about dismissing Wayne Rooney, the English mega-star.'

Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, though, claimed: 'From the 'Hand of God' in the 1986 World Cup to a sending-off. Having lost Rooney in the 67th minute, referee Elizondo writes another page in the book of hate between England and Argentina.

'In any case, the sad truth is that the sending-off was needed in order to give some intensity to the match.'

There was some encouragement, though, from Spanish national ABC, who acknowledged England's resolve after going down to 10 men against Luiz Felipe Scolari's side.

'Rooney's mental collapse didn't make England lose their heads,' said ABC's report.