Football: Euro 2004: The Difference between Becks and Figo Is One Went Ski-Ing While Other Went to Training; QUEIROZ BLASTS BACK

Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland), July 4, 2004 | Go to article overview

Football: Euro 2004: The Difference between Becks and Figo Is One Went Ski-Ing While Other Went to Training; QUEIROZ BLASTS BACK


FORMER Real Madrid boss Carlos Queiroz last night blasted England flop David Beckham for dodging training to go ski-ing. Under-fire Beckham has blamed Real's training regime for his lack of fitness as England crashed out of Euro 2004 in the quarter finals.

But furious Queiroz, sacked by the Spanish giants after failing to win a trophy last season, claims the England captain bunked off training several times during the last weeks of the season.

And the coach says Becks should follow the example set by hard-working Madrid team-mate Luis Figo.

Queiroz, who has now returned to his old job as assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, said: 'In the last three weeks Figo was at every session while you'll have to look at those ones David missed for one reason or another.

'Figo wasn't away ski-ing while his team were still in the Champions League and there's the difference one of them made it to the Euro 2004 final and the other hasn't.'

Figo showed his fitness with a sublime performance in the host country's semi-final win over Holland and he's set to take centre stage again tonight in the biggest match in Portuguese history.

Along with other veterans Fernando Couto and Rui Costa he could have a historic role against Greece if they get the nod from boss Luiz Felipe Scolari.

The Brazilian has not been afraid to upset his big-name stars during Euro 2004 and last night warned his adopted nation not to be complacent.

Despite steering Brazil to the World Cup two years ago Big Phil said: 'This is the most important game of my life.

'The final of Euro 2004 marks an end of two years of hard work and many dreams. To have arrived in the final is a dream we have achieved. I would be even happier if we can make the most important dream come true.'

But the shrewd coach needs no reminder of the Greeks' quality.

Otto Rehhagel's side dumped the hosts in the curtain raiser and have continued to produce shock after shock.

Scolari said: 'We have to respect them. Regardless of what happens in the final the Greeks are winners of this tournament for what they have achieved.

'They have reached the final when no-one gave anything for them at the start of the competition.'

And Scolari has urged Figo & Co. to play at their highest level if they want to break a side that has dumped out defending champions France and title favourites the Czech Republic in their historic journey.

He said: 'The Greece team are an example of collective play rather than individual talent.

'Each time you progress through to the next round you have to make fewer errors and we cannot afford to give them any opportunities.

'We have a 50-50 chance.' Scolari was caught off guard by Costa's decision to retire from international football after Euro 2004.

He admitted: 'I am surprised about that.

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