Wayne Rooney: I?d Try To Get Ronaldo Booked For Diving

The 2006 FIFA World Cup quarter final. England was on the field against Portugal.

Wayne Rooney got tangled up with Portugal defender Ricardo Carvalho, and suddenly stuck a boot on him.

The real drama began after that. As the whole stadium witnessed, an excited Cristiano Ronaldo started waving an imaginary card around, and tried to get the referee's attention.

The official immediately pulled out the red one and send Rooney off.

Recalling the incident after six years the England striker says, though it looked bad on Ronaldo's part, and he had to face criticism, but it would have been just the other way around.

In his yet to be published book 'My Decade in the Premier League', extracts of which are being published by the British tabloid 'The Mirror', he reveals: "In the first half I'd tried to get him booked for diving, so I was as bad as him really."

Rooney put his weight behind Ronaldo, saying that, "though it (Ronaldo's gesture) looked bad, but actually it was a total accident.

"As I protested my innocence, Ronnie started waving an imaginary card around, getting in the ref's face. The official pulled out the red and I was off.

"An early bath. Tournament over." 

He also reveals what happened when he met Ronaldo at the tunnel during the break.

"The papers decide we're not going to work together because of an incident that happened during the 2006 World Cup. 

"When I walked to the tunnel, I knew I couldn't really blame Ronaldo for what had happened because he was trying to win the game for his country. 

"But moments after my card, Ronaldo started winking at the sidelines, and to people watching the game on the television it looked bad, like he was dead pleased about it.

"Down to 10 men, England then went out on pens and all hell broke loose - everyone immediately decided that Ronaldo and I were the best of enemies, and his wink would spell trouble for United in the coming months. 

"I knew what was in store, so when I bumped into him in the tunnel after the game I gave him a heads up.

'The fans will be going mad over this one,' I said. 'They'll be trying to make a big deal of it, so we'll just have to get on with things as normal because there will be talk all summer.'

Praising Ronaldo, Rooney says, "He understood, he's a bright lad, but not long afterwards the papers reckoned he was off to Real Madrid; apparently me and him weren't talking, which was absolute rubbish. The truth is I like Ronaldo, always have done. He's a good lad and great to have around the dressing room. The United lads loved the drama, though." 

The Manchester ace then put light on what the fans did when they appeared on the field.

"Everyone gave us stick and when we turned up for the first session back at the club, someone even brought in a pair of boxing gloves, as if the pair of us were going to have a scrap before we warmed up for the morning. But after our first practice game together, everything was as right as rain. I could tell that we were going to have a cracking season."

The 26-year-old United striker, currently sidelined with a thigh injury, has provided a unique insight into goings-on at Old Trafford during the Portuguese superstar's stay at the club.

Citing a "mirrio incident", Rooney writes, "There's a mirror by Ronaldo's seat in the Old Trafford dressing room. 

"In the time I've been playing with Ronnie, the one thing I've noticed about him is that he can't walk past his reflection -without admiring it, even if we're about to play a game of football. 

"Every match, before the team goes out for the warm-up, he runs through the same routine. The kit goes on, the boots go on. Not long after, Ronnie turns to his reflection and stares, psyching himself up for the game.

"If there's one person with a bigger self-belief than Ronaldo, I haven't met him yet. He's not shy."

Describing how meticulous Ronaldo is, his former team mate says, "He loves his clothes, and the clobber he wears is super expensive and covered in shiny logos - Dolce & Gabbana, Armani, you name it. He's swaggered into training, looking immaculate from head to foot. He must spend a fortune on his wardrobe, but Ronaldo's biggest love is football.

"He tells us he wants to be the best player in the world, that he's desperate to be the greatest."

772123
Join the Discussion