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Tuesday, July 20, 1999 Published at 09:27 GMT 10:27 UK


Sport: Football

Cole accused of ego problem

Cole battles with Stan Lazaridis during United's 1-0 win

Manchester United's Andy Cole has been accused of having "a bit of an ego" by the Australian whose knee ligaments he badly tore during a friendly match on Sunday.


The BBC's Jonathan Wall: "It is reported that Cole has said that he doesn't think he has done anything wrong"
Simon Colosimo's transfer to Europe and his 2000 Olympic chances have been destroyed by the challenge in the lucrative game between United and Australia.

The 20-year-old complained that while compatriot Mark Bosnich and Teddy Sheringham had offered their sympathy, Cole had said nothing.


[ image: Colosimo (left) challenges Ryan Giggs before the injury]
Colosimo (left) challenges Ryan Giggs before the injury
"If he kicked me on the shin or the ankle, well that's all part of the game, but so high up on the knee was malicious," Colosimo said on Tuesday.

"If it had been me I would have gone to see him and apologized."

Cole does not see why he should apologise for the tackle, which left Colosimo's knee in need of major rebuilding work.

"I have not spoken to Colosimo and why should I because I went for the ball?" he asked in the Manchester Evening News.

"I don't feel I have done any wrong and I haven't a malicious bone in my body.

"I'm disappointed for him that this should happen."


Simon Colosimo: "I think it was malicious"
But Colosimo was unimpressed: "It's an understatement to say that Andy and I will never be best friends after this.

"When our players replayed the moment on the big screen afterwards let's just say they wanted to knock Cole's block off."

'Senseless'

And the young left-back complained that referee Simon Micallef allowed too many rough challenges in what was basically an unimportant match.

"Players on both sides were getting out of hand, there were a lot of senseless tackles going in and nobody was getting booked," he remembered.

Colosimo has been linked to Germany's Bayern Munich and Greek club Panathanaikos.

His Australian club Carlton have discussed who to sue for the loss of possible transfer riches.

The club is believed to have four options:

  • Soccer Australia (SA)
  • Manchester United
  • Tour promoter Rivkin Entertainment
  • Andy Cole himself

Rivkin and SA will be consulted first, but the Melbourne-based club are determined that someone should pay for the loss of the 500,000-rated player.

"The lad is going through a rough time at the minute," Carlton manager Lou Sticca told the BBC's Manchester radio station GMR.

"There were quite a few interested clubs and I would say that in the next couple of weeks Simon Colosimo would have signed for a European club.

"He will miss the opportunity to make a very lucrative career for himself, while we as a club have lost our major asset.

"At this stage we are not blaming anyone in particular, but we are the ones who have been aggrieved and the most aggrieved person in all of this is Simon Colosimo."





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