Wayne Rooney took to the red carpet to respond to the "strange" comments made about him by former Manchester United teammate Cristiano Ronaldo.
The 37-year-old, who was awarded the 'player career' award at the 2022 Global Soccer Awards in Dubai on Thursday, was asked about Ronaldo's bold comments ahead of the ceremony.
In the second part of his tell-all interview with Piers Morgan, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner appeared to call former teammate Rooney "a rat" during the conversation.
On the subject of money and fame, Morgan asked: “More pounds in the bank or more Instagram followers?”
Ronaldo laughed: “That’s a good question! Probably similar!" before Morgan responded: “I’m just trying to work out how Wayne Rooney could hate you even more!”
The United forward then replied: “Not only him, imagine the rest of the rats they are going to criticise me too, but it is good to still be the number one.”
Cristiano Ronaldo appears to call Wayne Rooney a rat.pic.twitter.com/77frfQnlz9— SPORTbible (@sportbible) November 17, 2022
Rooney, who played with Ronaldo for six years at Old Trafford, has now hit back at the comments, mentioning that "age comes us all" in regards to his current form.
The DC United manager told CNN at the Dubai awards ceremony: "Well, listen, Cristiano Ronaldo's a fantastic player and, as I've said before, he and Messi are the two best players probably to play the game.
"And, again, it's not a criticism. What I've said is age comes to all of us, and Cristiano is obviously feeling now that he's finally had to deal with that.
"Obviously, he's done an interview, and it's gone global, and it's strange, some of the comments are strange.
"But I'm sure Manchester United will deal with it once they've seen the full interview, and they will take whatever action they need to take."
Wayne Rooney with a classy response to the Cristiano Ronaldo interview 👏pic.twitter.com/V4EWpqhIVO— SPORTbible (@sportbible) November 18, 2022
In the interview with Morgan, Ronaldo not only raised concerns over the current state of Manchester United, but he criticised his former teammate Rooney.
Earlier on in the season, Rooney was asked if United were a better team with Ronaldo in the side.
“No, I don’t think so," he told talkSPORT. “Him and Messi are arguably the two best players of all-time and you can go either way with that, whatever way you decide.
“But I just think the things he has done from the start of the season, it is not acceptable for Manchester United. I’ve seen Roy Keane defending him. Roy wouldn’t accept that. Roy wouldn’t accept that at all.
“It is a distraction which Manchester United don’t need at the minute, trying to rebuild.
“For Cristiano, just get your head down and work and be ready to play when the manager needs you. If he does that, he will be an asset. If he doesn’t, it will become an unwanted distraction.”
Ronaldo hit back at Rooney's criticism of his behaviour this season, which includes walking down the tunnel during their Premier League clash against Tottenham.
"I don't know why he criticises me so badly," he told Morgan. "Probably because he finished his career and I'm still playing at a high level.
"I'm not going to say that I'm looking better than him. Which is true... but it's hard to listen to that kind of criticism and negativity from people who play with you for example, Gary Neville, as well.
"People can have their own opinion, but they don't really know what's going on. For example, inside the training ground and Carrington or even my life.
"They have to listen to my point of view as well. Because it's easy to criticise, but if you don't know the whole story, it's easy. They are not my friends."
Rooney says he feels no animosity towards Cristiano Ronaldo for his comments.
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Featured Image Credit: Piers Morgan Uncensored/YouTube - CNN