Ayala puts Owen dive in the past

The Stoke City striker admitted to going down easily during England's World Cup tie with Argentina in 1998, but the 39-year-old has admitted that he hardly remembers the incident
By Luciano Garzo

Former Argentina captain Roberto Ayala has admitted that he struggles to remember Michael Owen's dive in the 1998 World Cup last 16 tie against England.

The South Americans eventually progressed on a shoot-out after a controversy-fuelled 120 minutes which saw the Three Lions awarded a dubious spot kick.

Owen later admitted via his Twitter account that he went down too easily and had conned the referee, but, for the former Valencia defender, the incident is in the past.

"To be honest, I don't remember that moment. I read what he said on Twitter but I'd have to watch the match again," Ayala exclusively told Goal.com.

"It's all in the past now. It's just words and nothing else. I'm not angry or anything.

"Football is a bit like that. It's a bit about trying to deceive your rival and, to an extent, deceive the referee too, in order to gain an advantage.

"Maybe [Owen] thought he had to fall to the ground to earn a penalty and that's what happened."

Ayala currently works as a director of football for Racing Club de Avellanda in his homeland.