Wayne Rooney Reveals What He Said To Cristiano Ronaldo After World Cup Red Card
Wayne Rooney just told club teammate Cristiano Ronaldo to 'enjoy the tournament' and wished him good luck, after the Portugal superstar helped get the England striker sent off at the 2006 World Cup.
The pair met in the quarter finals in Germany 14 years ago as Sven Goran Eriksson's side looked to end their 40 years of hurt and finally win a tournament.
Rooney though got sent off, after stamping on Ricardo Carvalho, with the situation not helped by then Manchester United teammate Ronaldo imploring the referee to send the forward off, before then being seen winking towards his own bench after the deed was done.
It made the winger somewhat of a pariah in England, outside of United fan, but 'Wazza' had no ill feelings towards Ronaldo, even straight after the match.
"I put myself in Ronaldo's shoes. Would I do the same? Probably," Rooney wrote in his Sunday Times column.
"Would I be in the ref's face to make sure he got sent off? If he deserved the red, if it would help us win - yes, no question. I'd do it tomorrow. I thought: "Actually, I tried to get him booked in the first half for diving." And the wink thing, I didn't see anything in that at all. It was nothing.
"So I calmed down. I went over to him afterwards in the tunnel. I felt it was important to speak to him while it was still fresh and to do it face to face. He gave me a look as if to say sorry but by then I had my United head on. I said I've no issues with you. Enjoy your tournament and good luck. I'll see you in a few weeks - and let's go try and win the league."
In the build up to the tournament the country's all time top goal scorer had been injured in a match between United and Chelsea and looked like he would be Sven's squad.
The forward recovered in time though but in his column he admitted that he shouldn't have gone to Germany, "Looking back, I should never have gone to that World Cup. In the same position again, I'd rule myself out - and that's why if the Euros had taken place this summer I'd have said to Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford that if they were struggling in any way, not to push it. Because it may be good for you as an individual to play in a tournament, but it may not be good for the team.
"Of course it's hindsight. Back then I was 20, it was my first World Cup and there was so much expectation on me. It was an impossible situation and if I had had senior players telling me not to go I wouldn't have listened. But I learnt that you have to be 100 per cent fit - for everyone's benefit - and I was never close to 100 per cent in Germany."
Rooney's sending off around the hour mark didn't affect the game too much as the Three Lions held on to take the game to extra time and then penalties.
However the usual issue issue occurred for the side as they lost on penalties, with Jamie Carragher, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard all missing, when Rooney definitely would have taken one.