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06th Feb 2018

Wayne Rooney reveals what he said to Cristiano Ronaldo after 2006 World Cup red card

Rooney was sent off for stamping on Ricardo Carvalho

Reuben Pinder

Many people assumed Ronaldo would leave United that summer.

When England crashed out of the 2006 World Cup in customary style – on penalties to Portugal in the quarter-finals – the headlines were dominated by one moment in the game. The game finished 0-0, but it was defined by Wayne Rooney being sent off in the 62nd minute after he stamped on Ricardo Carvalho.

Cristiano Ronaldo played his part in making sure Rooney received the red card, when he ran over to the crowd of players and gestured to the referee that what Rooney had done merited a red card. The England striker pushed Ronaldo away and was subsequently dismissed.

The wink from Ronaldo to his coaches on the bench confirmed his intentions, which obviously angered Rooney as well as millions of England fans.

It was assumed the relationship between Manchester United’s two attackers would be ruined. As it panned out, the pair made up and went on to win three Premier League titles together before Ronaldo moved to Real Madrid.

Speaking on Monday Night Football, Rooney explained what he said to Ronaldo after the incident:

“I spoke to him in the tunnel after the game. I said to him ‘the press want to make a big thing out of us falling out, not getting along’,”

“I said ‘Don’t worry about it – I would have done the exact same thing’.

“I tried to get him booked for diving. He was my club teammate but he was a rival in that game. If I could have got him sent off, I would.”

Emotions run high on the football field and there is evidently a mutual understanding that this sort of thing is just a product of being ultra competitive. Thankfully for United, the relationship continued to blossom and brought plenty trophies to Old Trafford.