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Beckham: Eduardo saga should be put to bed

David Beckham has called for an end to the vilification of Arsenal striker Eduardo.

The two men will be on opposite sides on Wednesday when England tackle Croatia looking for the victory that would confirm their place in next summer's World Cup finals. But Beckham has found the attention Eduardo has attracted for his dive to win a penalty for the Gunners in their Champions League tie with Celtic distasteful.

''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.''

Fabio Capello has already outlined his distaste for players who cheat, revealing he even admonished members of his own team when he was an international with Italy.

And Beckham confirmed the former AC Milan coach has brought a new discipline to the England scene.

''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.

"What Fabio Capello has brought into squad and the nation is belief,'' he added. "After the last qualification campaign, when we didn't qualify, that belief and trust was lost from the fans and that hurts players. This qualification campaign has brought belief back into fans and the players. That's what we needed to get back.

"We needed to get back to playing the football we knew we could play but we also needed the belief of the fans.''

Beckham also denied that England will be driven by revenge when they host Croatia.

"This game is not about revenge, it is not about putting to rest what happened last time we played Croatia (at Wembley),'' said Beckham. "It was a very tough time for the players and everyone involved in the England team.

"It was tough for the fans too. From a fans view they probably want us to beat Croatia for the revenge side of things. But for the players we know that if we win then we will qualify for the World Cup finals, that's the incentive. Trust me that is all the players and the management staff will be thinking about.''


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