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 April 14, 2002 | 0345 IST

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Duscher calls Beckham to apologise

Deportivo Coruna midfielder Aldo Duscher has called David Beckham to apologise for the tackle that broke the England captain's foot and may have put him out of the World Cup, sports daily Marca reported on Saturday.

Marca said it witnessed a brief telephone conversation that took place between the two players with the help of a translator on Friday afternoon.

According to the transcript published in Marca the 23-year-old Argentine player apologised to Beckham and reiterated his recent statement saying that he had no intention of injuring the Manchester United midfielder when he went in for the tackle.

Beckham was reported as replying: "Don't worry. I knew that there were no ill intentions. Everything is OK and I still hope to make the World Cup.

"Keep calm," Beckham was then quoted as saying.

"The important thing is that there are now no problems between our two countries. Thanks for making contact."

Duscher, who has been reviled in the English tabloid press for his wild challenge during his side's Champions League quarter-final defeat against United, told Marca that he was relieved to have spoken to the England captain.

"This has been the worst moment in my sporting career," he said.

"I honestly never though the incident would become so important, but after speaking to Beckham I feel a little better.


"I have been pursued by journalists as if I had done something really terrible. It is very hard to have the press of another country attacking you and making political points out of what happened," he said.

The young Argentine said that his defiant declarations after Wednesday's game in which he appeared unrepentant about the challenge were made in the heat of the moment.

"At the end of the game, and after our defeat, emotions were still running high... and I wasn't properly informed about the importance of the injury," he explained.

Papers in both Argentina and England have had a field day in the wake of the incident, given the previous confrontations between the two countries on and off the sports field and the fact that the two teams have been drawn together in the same group in the World Cup.

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