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Wayne Rooney forgives Cristiano Ronaldo for his famous wink

14.98K   //    15 Nov 2014, 15:52 IST
Wayne Rooney receives a red card in the 2006 quarter final against Portugal

Wayne Rooney will earn his 100th cap for the England national team on Saturday, a well-deserved milestone in a career that has seen several highs and lows. His blackest moment in the English jersey, however, came back in 2006 when it was his red card that derailed The Three Lions’ charge towards the World Cup crown.

The erstwhile coach of the England team, Sven-Goran Eriksson, has come out to say that Rooney’s red card was the only reason why his team could not progress further than the quarter finals in Germany 2006.

“It was a low point for him and me. In 2006 we all thought we had a good chance to reach a final and maybe win it. When I say we, I mean the players, the staff and myself. We were convinced that there was no better team than England at that World Cup.

We could have won it but, when you get a red card in the quarter final of a World Cup, it’s hard."

I’d probably do it to him too: Rooney

On the night of the England-Portugal quarter final clash, Wayne Rooney had been sent off the pitch under controversial circumstances, after a badly-timed tackle on Ricardo Carvalho. England had been leading the match at the point, but later succumbed to a defeat on penalties.

What left an especially bad taste in English mouths, however, was the wink which Cristiano Ronaldo famously directed towards the Portuguese bench shortly after the sending-off, a gesture that signified that the important task, i.e getting Rooney off the pitch, had been accomplished. The two stars were then colleagues at Manchester United.

Wayne Rooney has revealed that he harbours no ill-will towards his adversary and former teammate, neither for wanting to eject him from the field, nor for the much-publicized wink.

"I spoke to him straight after the game. I knew it was going to be portrayed as ‘we’d fallen out’ and we had to make sure that that didn’t happen for Manchester United’s sake.

There was never an issue for me. I understood why he did it. He was trying to win for Portugal. If it was the other way round, I’d probably do it to him, too, yes! 

I want to win for England. I remember in the first half, saying to the referee that he was diving and trying to get him to give him a yellow card. That happens. Players speak to the referee, which isn’t always highlighted. But as soon as it was over, we were back as team-mates at United."