Italy defender Fabio Grosso has admitted to ‘accentuating’ when he went down in the penalty area against Australia in the 2006 World Cup.
The 32-year old Juventus left-back was awarded a penalty when Socceroos captain Lucas Neill attempted a tackle on him in the dying moments of regular time in the Round of 16 knockout clash with the ensuing penalty duly converted by Francesco Totti.
Australian players and fans were bemused by the decision, feeling they were hardly done by, and Grosso’s admission that he played for the penalty will not heal any open scars despite it being four years down the track.
‘It’s been a long time since 2006 but I say this with as much sincerity as I possibly can,” Grosso told Football + magazine. “In this instance when Neill slid in, maybe I accentuated it a little bit.
“However you must remember it was the last minute of an extremely difficult game and everyone was tired.
“I felt the contact so I went down,” he added.
“Therefore, I say again, I didn’t initiate it … It’s true that I felt the touch and didn’t have the strength to go forward. Some people believe me and some don’t. However for me, even after seeing the video images, it’s a penalty.
“I admit that it wasn’t glamorous but it wasn’t a scandal.”