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John Stones slammed the tactics of Colombia after their victory this week

Diego Maradona declared England’s win a ‘monumental theft’ and claimed Gareth Southgate’s players ‘threw themselves to the ground’.But Stones made a nonsense of Maradona’s allegations, saying: “I’d never seen a game like that before and how they behaved. There were things that we’ve never experienced – it was just so surprising to come across those things.
“They were probably the dirtiest team I’ve ever come up against … surrounding the referee, pushing the referee, the headbutt that you’ve all seen, scuffing the penalty spot and a lot of off-the-ball things you haven’t heard about.
“That’s down to their players, it’s their image and how they’ve represented their country. Some things I hadn’t even seen, like the incident with Raheem and one of their staff.
“I’ve never seen a game like this before and how they behaved. I thought there could have been several red cards.”
Stones insisted England were no cheats, saying: “I’ve been on the end of players getting their body between me and the ball and getting fouls from me.
“The lads are very clever. I think it is about having a great footballing brain and knowing when to do that, without being called a cheat and a diver. I don’t think there is anyone in our team who would do that or would want to do that (cheat and dive).
“Being clever and buying a smart foul is something we’ve got as a team and it can help us though the tournament.” And Stones said the Colombians took their dirty tricks into the penalty shootout, explaining: “There was a lot of movement from them – they were saying a lot of things to us while the lads were walking up to take the penalties.
“I think we showed massive character to keep a cool head and not get into the brawl the wanted.
“The best thing for us was to beat them at football. That’s the biggest thing that’ll hurt them.
“We’re into the next round and that’s something special for us and they were on the plane back home.”

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