Sven Goran-Eriksson has defended Victoria Beckham, Coleen Rooney and the rest of the 2006 World Cup WAGs brigade after they were accused of stealing the spotlight.
The Swedish football manager, 74, insisted the group were doing “completely normal things” while the glamorous crew sat in the stands and enjoyed fun evenings in Germany during the tournament.
Led by Victoria, 48, Coleen, 36, and Cheryl Cole, 39, the wives and girlfriends famously took the spotlight and received more attention than their partners, who actually got on the field.
Support: Sven Goran-Eriksson has defended Victoria Beckham, Cheryl Cole and the rest of the 2006 World Cup WAG brigade after being accused of stealing the spotlight
The group was decked out in designer outfits, and their endless errands, quarrels and late-night parties during the trip were seen as a major distraction for the footballers of the time.
Speaking to Boyle Sports World Cup, Sven has reflected on the scandal and defended the group, but admitted that the heightened focus on the Spice Girl didn’t “make it easy.”
The coach also defended that the WAGs were there, rather than being ‘bored’ in a hotel, after the brigade was spotted in Germany.
‘One of the women’ [at the World Cup] was Victoria Beckham and of course that didn’t make it any easier, it made it great for the press,” he explained.
Famous Moment: The Swedish football manager, 74, insisted the group do ‘totally normal things’ while the glamorous crew sat in the stands (Picture Cheryl and Coleen Rooney)
“We saw the women maybe once a week at dinner and I decided when that would be, and the rest of the days the women were invited here and there of course and the FA helped them not to sit in a hotel, bored, and I think that was great.’
Sven admitted that ‘whatever’ the WAGs were doing at the time was seen as a scandal because of the heightened attention they received at the time.
He added: “Whatever they did, it was a scandal. When they went to a bar, when they went to a restaurant, when they went shopping… [but] they were [doing] very normal things. I found the response a little unhelpful.”
It is widely argued that the WAG’s partying behavior was the reason the partners were banned from the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Defending: Sven has reflected on the scandal and defended the group, but admitted the heightened focus on David Beckham’s wife didn’t ‘make it easy’
Elsewhere, David Beckham recently addressed claims that the WAG brigade stole the spotlight with their designer-laden looks at the 2006 World Cup.
In June, he admitted that the wives and girlfriends went “too far” after stealing the show.
David admitted that Victoria grinned at some of the looks she wore looking back on the match years later, in an interview for Gary Neville’s The Overlap YouTube channel.
Looking back on the decision to put the footballer’s families at the center of that World Cup, David admitted he was never against having loved ones support them during the tournament.
Scandal: The group’s endless shopping, quarrels and late-night parties during the trip were seen as a distraction for the footballers. Pictured: Cheryl with Victoria and Brooklyn Beckham
He said, ‘I think they were paying attention. I always believed that as a captain of England having wives and girlfriends and the kids around was not a bad thing.
“Once you’re in training camp, you’re in training camp, you have to concentrate, but I think at the beginning of a tournament it’s not a big deal.”
But the sportsman, who captained the Three Lions for the tournament that saw them crash into the quarter-finals after losing a penalty shoot-out to Portugal, confessed that the obsession with the WAGs went ‘too far’.
He said, ‘Looking back, that whole culture – there was a lot of attention for that and whether people behaved the right way, I don’t know.
Looking back: David Beckham (pictured with Michael Owen) recently addressed claims that the WAG brigade stole the spotlight, saying they went ‘too far’
‘Even Victoria – she’s the first to say now – what did I do, what was I wearing, why should I do that? it did [go too far].
‘There was more talk about the WAGs than about football. at that point, players want to focus on the tournament. It went too far, but I believe it’s a good thing to have the WAGs and family around.”
Victoria joined the army of WAGs that famously descended to Germany with their families during that World Cup, attracting attention with their designer-clad outfits as they cheered on their husbands in the stands.
Known for her glamorous designer outfits, Victoria also wore an England Rocks tank top for England’s match against Trinidad and Tobago.
While he and Gary toured the Qatar hotel that will host England’s World Cup later this year, David admitted he preferred a secluded spot for the club to train and relax in anticipation of such crucial ties. .
He said to his former teammate: ‘Every player was different. When you’re in the tournament you had to be involved with where we stayed, the atmosphere, the game room.
“Once we got players like Rooney on the roster, you had players who loved games. The things you seek is tranquility.
‘You want to be in the middle of nowhere. As much as you want a bit of atmosphere, all you care about is the games. This one [England’s Qatar hotel] is perfect.’
Oh my gosh: David admitted that Victoria (both pictured in 2019) grimaced at some of the looks she wore when looking back at the competition years later