David Beckham infamously became a national enemy back in 1998 but Michael Owen was worse in the eyes of Posh.

Owen and ‘Golden Balls’ were England team-mates at the World Cup in France that year.

And it has taken until now for the former Three Lions striker to reveal how he is aware he infuriated Victoria Beckham.

Hubby David notoriously cost England after he petulantly kicked Diego Simeone, leading to Argentina beating them in the knockout stages.

England’s early exit from the competition in the round of 16 was put down to Beckham, who few defended in the aftermath.

It took time for the ex-Manchester United superstar to rebuild his reputation and his relationship with the Barmy Army.

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And Owen has now claimed Posh believed he should have stepped up to back Becks in the press.

The former Liverpool striker, who was just 18 at the time, suggests he was too young to come to Beckham’s aid.

In his new book ‘Michael Owen: Reboot – My Life, My Time’, he writes: “David and I always got on well. He was obviously very talented.

“But after the 1998 World Cup in France, few would argue that our paths were different. I became the darling of English football, while he became the villain.

Michael Owen’s new book is on sale Thursday 5th September in hardback, ebook and audiobook

“The general feeling in the dressing room immediately after the match was that there was nothing to say about him getting sent off.

“What could any of us have said to him that would have changed anything? The damage was done. However, some time later I heard that his wife Victoria was in some way disappointed in me.

“She felt, I was told, that when the spotlight was on me after the World Cup, I should have publicly and voluntarily come out and backed David.

Victoria Beckham was upset at the reaction hubby David received across the country 21 years ago

“I didn’t consider myself senior enough to pat David Beckham – 20 times more famous than I was at the time – on the back and say, “Keep your chin up, mate” either.

“Whether I thought his actions lost us the game or not doesn’t matter. For me, at that time, it was about hierarchy and standing.”

Hatred was clearly shown towards Becks all around the country upon the squad’s return from France.

And while Owen feels the global icon let England down, he fully condones some of the behaviour of angry supporters.

England’s Michael Owen celebrated with David Beckham after his famous goal against Argentina shortly before Golden Balls was sent off

Owen adds: “Did he deserve the abuse he got afterwards? Certainly not.

“What human being should have to see their effigy being burned?

“But David let us down and I still hold some resentment about that today.”

Michael Owen: Reboot – My Life, My Time, published by Reach Sport, is on sale Thursday 5th September in hardback, ebook and audiobook. www.reachsportshop.com