‘Ronaldo wink was nothing’ – Rooney opens up ‘worst’ feeling after World Cup red card
Wayne Rooney has admitted that his lowest point in football came in the 2006 World Cup quarter-final encounter against Portugal, which saw him sent off.
Having won a race against time to be fit for the competition, Rooney never reached his potential in Germany and his tournament ended in controversial style as erstwhile Manchester United team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo played a role in the dismissal, with the Portuguese caught winking after his Old Trafford colleague was dismissed for a second-half stamp.
Rooney, though, has admitted that he was in the wrong and revealed that he was quick to forgive his fellow attacker.
"Referee Horacio Elizondo did nothing and I planted my foot down on Carvalho -- it one of those moments when you're not thinking.
"I knew it was a red card and back in the dressing room I watched the rest of the game on a little TV, thinking: 'If we win this, I'm suspended for a World Cup semi-final and final and if we lose it's my fault.' It was the worst, weirdest feeling I've had in football.
"I had my phone in my hand and I was getting all these messages about Ronaldo. Of course, when he ran over to ask Elizondo to send me off I pushed him away. In that moment I couldn't believe what he was doing. But sitting in that dressing room gave me time to calm down and think.
"I put myself in Ronaldo's shoes. Would I do the same? Probably. 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."
England subsequently lost on penalties after a scoreless draw, with Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher all failing from 12 yards as Ronaldo converted the decisive kick for a 3-1 success.
Source : goal.com
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