Insisting that they are still mates, mercurial England forward Wayne Rooney has rubbished reports that he is trying to get Cristiano Ronaldo ousted from Manchester United, saying that he did not hold the Portugese winger responsible for his send-off in the World Cup quarter-finals.
"I was disappointed by Ronny (Ronaldo) trying to get me carded and I gave him a bit of a push in the chest (on the pitch). But that was it. By the next morning I was no longer angry over what had happened, or even with Ronny. It seemed that the papers were trying to stir it up, rubbishing him, blaming him," he has written in his autobiography - My Story So Far - excerpts of which were published in Daily Mail.
"I told him to forget about what happened. I wasn't blaming him for interfering," he
The 20-year-old said he sent a text message to Ronaldo after the match, wishing Portugal luck for the rest of the tournament but admitted that the mid-fielder did ask for a red card against him after he appeared to have stamped on defender Ricardo Cavalho.
"He appeared to be telling the ref I should get a card. And then to my amazement the ref was putting his hand up in the air. With a red card. For me. I was off," he recalled.
Rooney reiterated that he did not intentionally step on Carvalho and the incident was an accident.
"In being forced back, I had trod on the player on the ground, I realised that. It turned out to be Carvalho. And I was aware that my foot had landed between his legs, which, of course, is about the nastiest place to get hurt, but it was an accident," he said.
"I'll go to my grave and still maintain it was a complete accident. I hadn't intended to do it," he added.
The forward said contrary to the popular perception, he was not a hot-head but a shy, sensitive person. He revealed that he cried after the incident -- something he doesn't do very often -- when his team mates consoled him after the incident.
"The players came over to me, one by one, said things like: 'Don't worry, Wazza, it wasn't your fault...Don't be too upset'. That was when, for the first time, I felt a few tears come into my eyes. I don't cry often. And I hadn't cried when I'd been sent off. I was beginning to feel sad - this time for them, rather than myself," he revealed.
"I think I'm a quiet, sensitive, retiring shy person," he wrote.
Meanwhile, quoting sources close to Rooney, the 'Daily Mirror' reported that the England forward was trying his best to make Ronaldo change his mind against a possible move to Real Madrid or Barcelona.
"Wayne will be absolutely delighted if Ronaldo remains at United, and looks forward to playing alongside him next season. It's absolute absurd that Wayne wants Ronaldo out. That couldn't be further from the truth. He still regards him as a mate," the source told the daily.
Ronaldo is looking to leave United for Real as he fears hostile reception from England fans, who, according to media reports here, hold him responsible for Rooney's red card in the match. The right-winger ran down 40 meters to the refree appealing for a foul by Rooney and was caught winking at the Portugese bench after the striker was sent off in the match.