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By ESPN Staff
Jul 3, 2006

'No problem between Rooney and me' - Ronaldo

BERLIN, July 3 (Reuters) - Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo said on Monday there was no animosity between him and Wayne Rooney despite the furore over the winger's actions when the England forward was red carded in their World Cup quarter-final.

'There is no problem at all between me and Rooney,' Ronaldo told the website of the Gestifute agency, which represents him. 'At the end of the game, we exchanged a series of text messages just as we had on the day before.

'This reinforces that I have a fine relationship with Rooney. Between the two of us, everything is clear,' added Ronaldo who plays with Rooney at Manchester United.

In the second half of Saturday's match with England, Ronaldo rushed 40 metres to the referee, apparently to demand a card for Rooney who had battled his way through two players and trod on Ricardo Carvalho's groin as he tried to disentangle himself.

Rooney was sent off by Argentine referee Horacio Elizondo and Ronaldo was captured by TV cameras winking at his bench as the England forward walked off the pitch.

'I complained to the referee about the foul but I didn't ask for a red card,' the Portugal winger said after the match.

'How is it possible that I would help to get him sent off? I am not the referee with the power to send off anyone I want, nor do I have the ability to convince him to show cards,' he added on Monday.

'The referee produced the red card because he thought that he had to, and my participation in that was absolutely zero.'

Ronaldo had also feigned a head-butt towards Rooney seconds before the match kicked off as he was walking past his club mate to take up his position on the left wing.

British media reported on Monday that the England forward was furious with Ronaldo and attempted to charge into Portugal's dressing room to confront the winger after the match.

But Ronaldo said Rooney had told him to ignore the English press saying 'they only want to stir things up'.

'Statements have appeared as if they were from him, saying that he didn't want to play with me in Manchester,' said Ronaldo. 'That's not what he wants. Of course he wants to (play with me). This is absolutely false, he said so himself...'

'In fact, he didn't just send me congratulations for going forward in the World Cup, he also told me we have a great team, and if we carry on as we have, we will get a long way. He wasn't angry with me, or about anything that happened.'

Ronaldo, who faced England after recovering from a thigh injury inflicted by a high tackle in the second-round match with Netherlands, is still having ice treatment on the leg but says he will be ready for Wednesday's semi-final in Munich.