England goalkeeper David Seaman has taken the blame for England’s World Cup elimination after conceding a Ronaldinho free-kick from 40 yards.

“It is hard to take but that’s just life as a goalkeeper. The main thing is I want to say sorry to the fans,” said Seaman, choking back tears.

“I want to say sorry to the people I’ve let down today. That’s just the way it goes,” he added.

Seaman’s England colleagues were swift to absolve the Arsenal keeper of any responsibility.

“If anyone tries to make David the scapegoat, that would be a disgrace,” said England captain David Beckham. “David has been the best goalkeeper at the World Cup and the goal wasn’t his fault. It was a fluke goal that was meant to be a cross.”

Teddy Sheringham added: “David’s upset but it is not his fault. Things like that happen. In my opinion he is still the world’s best.”