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04th Jul 2018

Jose Mourinho wasn’t happy with English defender for behaviour in win over Colombia

"Normally he is a very honest guy."

Darragh Murphy

Players’ theatrics are playing too large a role in Russia.

Several players have been guilty of engaging in histrionics to win fouls and get opponents in trouble with referees throughout the World Cup.

Chief among the culprits is Neymar, the Brazilian talisman who has been on his backside more often than the scoresheet.

But he is not the only guilty party, as explained by Jose Mourinho, as far too many players have attempted to con officials into awarding decisions in their favour.

Mourinho has even singled out England defender Harry Maguire for particular criticism after watching Gareth Southgate’s side claim a dramatic last-16 win over Colombia on penalties on Tuesday night.

“People are focusing on Neymar, but if it was only Neymar, I’d be happy, but it’s not only Neymar,” the Manchester United manager told RT.

“Every team has lots of diving, lots of pretending, lots of putting pressure on the referee… the game loses quality… and for me that was the negative point.

“It’s not about England and Colombia, it’s almost every match… [The players] are creating such a difficult job for the referees in every match, even with VAR the players are creating problems.

“I was surprised to see central defenders like [England’s] Harry Maguire, normally he is a very honest guy, diving in the attacking box asking the referee for VAR.

“The players should feel the responsibility of playing in the World Cup in front of billions of spectators.”

Maguire threw himself to the ground under no contact from Davinson Sanchez and quickly returned to his feet when he realised that nobody had bought his act of simulation.

England’s victory will now see the Three Lions play Sweden in the quarter-finals on Saturday afternoon and given the side of the draw they find themselves on, Mourinho has backed England to make it to the World Cup final which will take place on July 15.

He said: “For many years England is not reaching this stage of the competition, so being in the quarter-finals, playing against Sweden, having for the semi-final the winner of Russia versus Croatia, I would say England has a golden chance to be in the World Cup final.”