Manchester United stars Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo almost came to blows during a 2006 World Cup clash between England and Portugal, with the former receiving a red card
Rio Ferdinand has finally lifted the lid on Cristiano Ronaldo’s immediate reaction to a clash with Wayne Rooney during the 2006 World Cup quarter-final clash between England and Portugal.
The Three Lions went crashing out on penalties in Gelsenkirchen after a highly dramatic 120 minutes of action ended in goalless.
In a tense affair, tempers flared highest around the 62nd minute mark when Rooney was sent off for stepping on Ricardo Carvalho.
Ronaldo strongly appealed to the referee to give Rooney a red card, which riled up his United team-mate as he was forced to leave the pitch.
And speaking on his FIVE YouTube channel, peacemaker Ferdinand, who also played in that match, has explained how Ronaldo begged him to allow him to apologise to Rooney as they were boarding the coaches.
Tom Jenkins/Getty Images)
“It was on the coach immediately afterwards,” Ferdinand recalled. “Wazza was hot in the changing rooms and I think a few people got him and said ‘it’s not how you might think it is, it’s not like that.’
“Then we got onto the coaches, I think Cristiano pulled me and said ‘Ri, can you go and get Wayne, I just want to talk to him and tell him I didn’t mean anything, there’s no animosity or malice in what I’ve done – we’re both on the same team, I would never do that, he’s my boy, my guy’.
“So I went and got Wazza and said ‘listen, Cris wants to talk to you’ so I got him off the coach and put them together but from that point on I didn’t say anything.
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“I don’t know if I squashed it, they did that themselves but I was the one who got them together.”
Rooney has since admitted that he would have done the same thing as Ronaldo to push his side closer to victory, and even tried to get his opposite number in the book at one stage.
“There is no issue with me whatsoever, I would have done exactly the same trying to get England a win against Portugal,” he told the Mail.
“I said: ‘Listen, you’re going to get a lot of stick from the press, I’m going to get a lot of stick from the press, my focus now is on Man United’.
“I actually tried to get him booked in the first half for diving. I’m playing for England, he’s playing for Portugal, do whatever you can to win.
“Honestly, I still don’t know whether I stamped on Carvalho on purpose or not. Still. I must have just had a blank.”