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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 June 2006, 08:38 GMT 09:38 UK
Henry denies diving against Spain
Thierry Henry [right] after clashing with Carles Puyol
Henry fell to the ground after colliding with Carles Puyol
France striker Thierry Henry has denied cheating to win the free-kick which led to his side's second goal in their 3-1 World Cup victory over Spain.

Henry fell to the ground clutching his face after colliding with Carles Puyol.

Puyol insisted the referee had made the wrong decision, adding: "If anything it was a foul by Henry."

But Henry said: "Spain's left-back Mariano Perina was going to win the ball so I don't know why Puyol cut across me, but he did. I don't cheat."

Spain coach Luis Aragones agreed with Puyol, saying that the clash with Henry did not merit a free-kick.

"For me the referee (Italian Roberto Rosetti) blew for a non-existent foul for the second goal," said Aragones.

Next time I'll learn to dive maybe, but I'm not a woman

Thierry Henry, after the 2006 Champions League final
"As for the third goal, the game was practically over already when that went in."

It is not the first time Arsenal striker Henry has been involved in controversy with Barcelona star Puyol.

The striker was angry at the referee for not taking action over the rough treatment he received from Puyol in May's Champions League final in Paris, which Barcelona won 2-1.

After that match, Henry said: "Next time I'll learn to dive maybe, but I'm not a woman."

The game between Spain and France was level at 1-1 when Italian referee Roberto Rosetti gave a free-kick to France for the challenge by Puyol.

Zinedine Zidane's deep free-kick was deflected off the head of Xabi Alonso and found Patrick Vieira, whose header ended in the net via a deflection off Spain's Sergio Ramos.

Puyol said: "It hurts to lose this way, because I think we deserved more and we were playing a great game.

"But that's football. We now have to recover and think ahead to the next tournament."

Henry told BBC One's Match of the Day programme that the victory proved that France's team spirit was strong.

"I think we have got a lot of stick, but we have shown that we are a team," he said.

"Now, no matter what happens - you never know what can happen later on during the competition - we showed to our fans and to our people back in France that we are a team."

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