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Thursday, 2 May, 2002, 16:10 GMT 17:10 UK

Djalminha sorry for headbutt

Deportivo La Coruna's Brazil midfielder Djalminha has apologised for a training ground incident that threatens to undermine his World Cup hopes.

The fiery midfielder headbutted Deportivo coach Javier Irureta, the latest episode in a string of disciplinary incidents.

The fiery midfielder lost him temper with Irureta in a row over a penalty in a practice match.

" I have apologised for the incident in front of the whole of the squad, and now I am doing the same for the fans "

After he was ordered to the dressing room, Djalminha gave the coach a light brush with his head before walking off the training ground.

Djalminha has recently won an international recall and is expected to form a part of Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari's World Cup squad.

But his disciplinary problems could give the Brazil coach food for thought.

The Brazilian quickly issued a public apology for his actions.

He said: "I have apologised for the incident in front of the whole of the squad, and now I am doing the same for the fans.

After his apology, Djalminha was allowed to continue training with the squad.

" These things happen when somebody loses his temper "

Irureta claimed Djalminha's attack had been the product of end-of-season nerves, and gave no indication of what action he would take against the midfielder.

The Depo coach coach said: "Players are always more excitable late on in the season.

"It's the time when their futures are decided and when they find out whether their work during the season has been a success."

Djalminha has been sent off six times since joining Deportvio from Palmeiras in 1997, and he tried to play down the latest incident.

The 31-year-old said: "These things happen when somebody loses his temper.

"Similar things have already happened with players here."

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