Juninho Paulista talks about Míchel Salgado’s tackle back in 1998
Juninho Paulista has revealed that he bears no grudge with Míchel Salgado over a tackle which essentially ruled him out of the 1998 World Cup.
Back in the 1997/98 season Juninho was playing for Atlético Madrid and Salgado for Celta Vigo when the pair clashed in a fixture in February. The result was a broken fibula for the Brazilian.
Although Juninho felt he recovered from the injury he wasn’t picked for the World Cup that year, but the 41-year-old was actually unhappy with the referee and not Salgado.
“I do not keep that hurt. He took an attitude that he should not have taken,” Juninho told Lancenet.
“I did not know but Salgado took great care and wanted to go to the hospital to apologise, we was talking in the locker room that he did not intend but it’s complicated.
“The way he moved, the ball was in front, he did not aim for the ball, he aimed for my leg, of course not to break it though.
“I feel more angry, not with the player, but the attitude of the organization. The referee wasn’t punished, I don’t think he even gave a yellow, just a foul.”
Juninho did go on to admit that although he was angry to miss out on selection for the 1998 World Cup, it was an important lesson to learn.
Four years later he would be selected by Luiz Felipe Scolari and would pick up a World Cup medal.
The Brazilian concluded: “These things happen. We have to learn and in 2002 when I was there we were champions. These are things you only understand later on.”