Carlos Alberto has issued an apology to Michael Owen after calling the England striker a “midget” who should clean England captain David Beckham’s boots.

Azerbaijan boss Alberto had been angered by remaraks allegedly made by Owen in the build-up to the World Cup qualifier on Wednesday.

However, Owen denied all knowledge of the comments Alberto had attributed to him.

England won 2-0 although Owen did not get on the scoresheet.

“I see Owen claims he did not say those things,” Alberto, captain of Brazil’s 1970 World Cup-winning team, told The Sun newspaper.

“If that is the case then I accept his apology and apologise back to him.

“I believed he had promised to score five against Azerbaijan and that made my players and me very angry.

“I was still very upset after a match in which Owen did not look like scoring even once and that is why I said those things.

“But now, for me, it is finished.”

After Wednesday’s game Alberto said: “This man – what’s his name? The number 10, the small one who doesn’t play in the Real Madrid first team – said that if Poland beat Azerbaijan 8-0, England should score at least eight and he’d score five of them.

“But he must respect everyone. Who is Michael Owen anyway? What has he ever won in football? He plays for Real Madrid but he is always on the bench.

“I have a history in football but what is the history of this guy, this midget?”