Victoria Beckham ‘didn’t make it easy’ for England at World Cup, says Sven

Victoria Beckham "didn't make it easy" for England at the World Cup according to former Three Lions manager Sven-Goran Eriksson.

The Swedish manager believes that the former Spice Girl's popularity and press attention during major tournaments intensified the pressure on his players. The popstar and fashion designer was a member of the group of WAGs who made headlines during the 2006 World Cup with their wild stay in the German spa town of Baden-Baden.

Eriksson has now reflected on the impact that the press attention the wives and girlfriends received had on the team's performances during his five years as England manager.

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Speaking to BoyleSports, he explained: "One of the wives was Victoria Beckham and of course that didn't make it easy, it made it fantastic for the press.

"But all the other countries, Sweden for example, I knew exactly what they did with their wives and so on. I don't think any Swedish paper ever talked about it because it's natural and I think most of the teams were doing that. In England it became huge in the press and a scandal, but I couldn’t see what the scandal was.

"We saw the wives maybe once a week at dinner and I decided when that should be, and the rest of the days of course the wives were invited here and there and the FA helped them not to be sat in a hotel, bored, and I think that was great.

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"But whatever they did it was a scandal, if they went to a bar, if they went to a restaurant, if they went out shopping. They were totally normal things.

"I found the reaction a little bit unhelpful, but I don't think all of those players know what the English press is. The football press of course, but the other side of the press, I don't think they were that prepared for that."

Eriksson took charge of England at two World Cup's during his time as Three Lions gaffer, with David Beckham captaining the side at both the 2002 and 2006 tournaments.

Despite many believing England had a Golden Generation at that time, Eriksson's side were unable to get past the quarter-finals during his tenure, losing 2-1 to Brazil in the last eight in 2002 before Portugal beat them on penalties at the same stage four years later.


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