London - Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino defended
midfielder Dele Alli from accusations of diving and revealed that when he was a
youngster in Argentina, he and teammates even practiced diving to win
Alli was widely lambasted for his theatrical fall that won Spurs
a first-half penalty in their 5-0 rout of Swansea at White Hart Lane on
Saturday. Harry Kane converted the spot-kick.
But on Sunday, Pochettino explained how when he came through
the ranks at Newell's Old Boys in his native Argentina they even used to
practice diving in training.
"In Argentina, yes, the people sometimes practice that,
it's true," Pochettino said.
"But many years ago. Now I don't know. But when I was a
player always it was part of training to try to cheat. At Newell's, many, many
years ago it was part of practice."
Pochettino admitted that diving is no longer the murky
preserve of foreign players and recalled the day when he was punished for
bringing down England striker Michael Owen at the 2002 World Cup.
Also read: Chelsea have edge - Pochettino
Owen fell over Pochettino's left leg but while referee
Pierluigi Collina pointed to the spot, replays showed he had not touched the
"It was 15 years ago when Owen dived," Pochettino
said. "Don't believe that English football is fair play always because
Owen jumped like he was in a swimming pool. Come on. I didn't touch him. I
promise you. It's true.
"I think today football is more global. England is more
like European football. Now we have the influence of the Latin people that try
to cheat always.
"Maybe you were more pure 20, 25, 30 years ago. Now you
are like us."For
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