David Beckham was sent off for kicking out at Argentina midfielder Diego Simeone (Picture: Getty)

Tony Adams has revealed how he jokingly told David Beckham that he had ‘blown’ his last opportunity to win a World Cup following the winger’s infamous sending off in England’s defeat to Argentina back in 1998.

Referee Kim Milton Nielsen gave Beckham his marching orders shortly after half-time in the last-16 clash for kicking out at Diego Simeone.

Glenn Hoddle’s ten-man side managed to hold on until the end of extra-time only to lose 4-3 in a dreaded penalty shootout after the 2-2 draw at Saint Etienne’s Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.

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Beckham was given his marching orders shortly after half-time (Picture: Getty)

Beckham faced months of derision on his return to his home country in the wake of England’s failure but would go on to get revenge with a spot-kick to beat Argentina as captain of the Three Lions in 2002.

Discussing Beckham’s red card with Sky Sports, former England centre-back Adams explained: ‘I was a little bit envious of David because he was crying and it took me 29 years to shed a tear.

He was really upset, he was sad and he was shedding a tear and I thought, “Wow!”. Normal reaction.

‘David was there, sobbing like a baby and I just put an arm round him and I made it into a bit of a joke.

‘I said, “Hey David mate, listen, you’re a young man and you’ve got plenty of time, you’re playing for one of the greatest clubs on the planet. Go back to Man United”.

Adams discussed his conversation with Beckham on Sky Sports

‘They won the treble that next year so I wish I didn’t say it but I said, “Go back in, you haven’t let anyone down, you’re a young man, you’re going to have loads more World Cups but, actually, you’ve blown it for me. That’s the last opportunity I’ll ever have and you’ve really blown it”.

‘And I remember him looking up at me, going: “Are you joking here, mate?!”. I made it into a bit of a joke and put my arm round him.

‘It was a really sad moment for him in his career and one that, when you talk to him now, it still haunts him a bit.

‘He’s a very proud human being and a proud guy and he loves his country. To do that at a critical time… of my career was outrageous!’

Adams made sure to console Beckham after his red card (Picture: Getty)

In his 2013 autobiography, Beckham explained how indebted he felt towards Adams after the defender consoled him in the changing room in the wake of his sending off.

‘When the England players came back into the dressing room, nobody breathed a word to me,’ Beckham said.

‘There was almost complete silence. I could feel my stomach tightening even more. I gulped, breathed in, and gulped again.

‘I was in a packed changing room, but I had never felt so lonely in my life. I was isolated and afraid. Only Gary [Neville] and [Paul] Scholes came over to give me a word or two of comfort.

‘I didn’t know where to look. I didn’t know what to say. I wanted to shout out how sorry I was, how much I wanted to take it back, but it was too late. I was trapped in my own sense of guilt and anxiety.”

‘Then, as if from nowhere, a totally unexpected crumb of comfort: Tony Adams put his arm around me.

‘It was a strong embrace. I could feel that he meant it; that he could see how much I was suffering; that he wanted to take away some of the pain. “Look son, everyone makes mistakes,” he said. “Don’t let it get you down. You are going to come back stronger and better.”‘

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