World Cup qual. – Bilic blasts Terry dive claims
Croatia manager Slaven Bilic has branded England captain John Terry a hypocrite for his criticism of striker Eduardo.
England face Croatia on Wednesday at Wembley in a World Cup qualifier in which a win would seal Fabio Capello’s team’s place at the finals in South Africa next year.
In the build-up to the Group Six clash, Bilic took issue with Terry’s assertion that Croatia striker Eduardo dived during Arsenal’s Champions League play-off win over Celtic, and his insistence that English players are more honest.
Bilic told The Sun: “John Terry is not talking like that when Didier Drogba goes down for Chelsea.
“I am not saying Drogba is a diver. I adore him as a player but I’m saying when they get a penalty they’re not accusing their own team-mates.
“You can’t say English players don’t dive.”
Bilic, who had spells at West Ham and Everton during his playing career, also backed Brazil-born striker Eduardo, insisting that he was not a diver.
He added: “I’ve known Eduardo for years. If anyone knows him I know him. He is no diver. He is a good guy, a sportsman, a professional and a role model of fair play.
“Sometimes he waits for a contact. Maybe it wasn’t a penalty against Celtic but you can’t say there was no contact.
“Don’t forget he was very badly injured for a long time. And he’s just come back.
“I don’t care why John Terry did this but it’s all part of the game.
“Look, if we’re talking about 100 per cent fair play it’s also not fair play from Terry to say something like that before the game if he wants to put pressure on the referee.
“That would not be fair play in the same sense as what he was saying about Eduardo, accusing a fellow professional of these things.”
Eduardo has been handed a two-match suspension by UEFA, but he will be available to line up against England as the ban only applies to club matches.
Bilic launched his attack on the defender following the Chelsea skipper’s comments before England’s 2-1 friendly win over Slovenia at the weekend.
Speaking about the diving issue, which has been a major talking point following Eduardo’s two-match ban for simulation following the Celtic match, Terry said: “Sometimes we’re too honest. Even in the Premier League, we see the English lads get a bit of contact and try to stay on their feet and score from the chance.
“The foreign mentality coming in is ‘any little clip you can go tumbling over’, because the speed of the game nowadays.
“I think the Eduardo one was a dive, we can all see that and it’s disappointing to see because Arsenal are a quality side and I don’t think they want to be portrayed like that.”
Tony Mabert / Eurosport