Gerrard blasts winking Ronaldo a disgrace
The Liverpool midfielder criticizes Man U winger's behaviour in the aftermath of teammate Rooney's dismissal in WC.india Updated: Aug 13, 2006 16:59 IST
Steven Gerrard has labelled Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo a disgrace for his behaviour towards United teammate Wayne Rooney at the World Cup.
Gerrard is furious with the way the Portugal winger intervened after Rooney appeared to stamp on Ricardo Carvalho in the quarter-final against England and then winked conspiratorially at his bench after the striker was sent off.
"Sadly a dark side stains Cristiano Ronaldo's game. His part in Wayne Rooney's dismissal was a disgrace," Gerrard wrote in an extract of his autobiography which appeared in Sunday's News Of The World.
The Liverpool midfielder and newly appointed England vice-captain added, "What really got to all the England players was Ronaldo's wink to his bench."
"It was a wink which said 'job done'. How could he do that to his Manchester United team-mate?
"On the bus after the game Wayne asked me 'what do you think about the wink?'.
"'Honestly, Wazza, if we were playing Spain and Xabi Alonso or Luis Garcia winked at the referee or gave a signal for me to be sent off, I'd never speak to them again."
Gerrard said he was taken aback when Argentinian referee Horacio Elizondo took out the red card and brandished it at Rooney, and not one of the Portugal players.
"To my horror I realised it was Wayne walking slowly off," the Liverpool captain continued.
"Players like Carvalho are damaging football, not Wayne Rooney. It's coached into them that when an incident like that happens, they go to work on the refree."
"Ronaldo was at the front. But the blame does not just rest with him. Five or six Portuguese players were at it."
Last week Rooney for his part said he had made his peace with Ronaldo.
"I'm not going to lie, I was disappointed with the way he ran over to the referee," he told SkySports.
"But at the end of the day we weren't team-mates that day. We were rivals. I wanted to win, he wanted to win for his country so we have to get on with it and hopefully do well for Manchester United together."
Gerrard meanwhile blames England's premature exit from the World Cup on over-confidence.
"We are not as good as we think we are," he reflected.
"England were guilty of over-confidence. Me and the other players constantly claimed we could win the World Cup - it was stupid."