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Framlington World Cup challenge Beckham doubtful but Simeone&#39s back

As England rue the cost of major injury to David Beckham, the irony is that fortune appears to favour the opposition. While Beckham&#39s chances of playing in the World Cup are extremely questionable, Argentina – who are World Cup favourites and England&#39s chief threat in Group F – can celebrate the return to fitness of one of their keys players.

Midfielder Diego Simeone sent a warning to World Cup rivals when he made his comeback for Lazio at the start of April after a six-month injury lay-off. “They can count on me being in perfect shape for the World Cup,” he said. “I am very happy to have made my comeback and I feel fine. Returning after six months out was not easy but I made it happen with hard work and a lot of sacrifices.”

It was, of course, Beckham&#39s challenge on Simeone that resulted in his sending-off against Argentina in the last World Cup.

The ultimate irony of Beckham&#39s current problem is that his injury was inflicted on him in an extremely rash tackle by another Argen- tinian, Aldo Duscher.

Beckham&#39s fortune hangs in the balance but Brazilian striker Romario will definitely not be on the trip to Korea and Japan.

The absence of Romario&#39s name from the squad to play in Brazil&#39s last pre-World Cup friendly appears to have ended his World Cup dreams.

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