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Sep 10, 2012

Rooney: I never fell out with Ronaldo

Wayne Rooney has insisted he did not fall out with Cristiano Ronaldo over the winger's part in his sending off in the 2006 World Cup.

Rooney, 26, was shown a red card for stamping on Portugal's Ricardo Carvalho before the Portuguese eliminated Sven-Goran Eriksson's side on penalties.

But Ronaldo's attempt to get his Manchester United team-mate dismissed - and his subsequent wink to the dugout - made him unpopular in England.

England striker Rooney said he warned Ronaldo, then a Manchester United colleague, immediately after the game that he could expect to be demonised.

He said the incident had amused the pair's club colleagues, who brought a pair of boxing gloves to the first day of training.

Rooney continues to insist his collision with Carvalho was not deliberate. "It looked bad, but actually it was a total accident," he said in My Decade In The Premier League, which is being serialised in the Daily Mirror.

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

"Besides, in the first half I'd tried to get him booked for diving, so I was as bad as him really. But moments after my card, Ronaldo started winking at the sidelines, and to people watching the game on the telly it looked bad, like he was dead pleased about it.

"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."

At the time, it was reported that Ronaldo would join Real Madrid. Instead, he and Rooney remained team-mates at United for another three years, winning three Premier League titles and the 2008 Champions League.

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