Horacio Elizondo, the referee who sent off Wayne Rooney in the quarterfinal against Portugal in the World Cup, has lashed out at the England striker for his constant whining on the field, saying that the forward's behaviour in the match reminded him off his kids.
"He was complaining all the time, always coming close to me saying 'referee' this and 'referee' that. Protests and more protests. He reminded me of my kids!," the Argentine referee told a magazine.
Reiterating that Portuguese winger Cristiano Ronaldo's 40-metre run towards him had no impact on his decision to give the marching order to Rooney, Elizondo said the mercurial striker only had himself to blame for the incident and the red card that followed.
"He stamped on (Ricardo) Carvalho's groin. That is a straight red card in any country," the refree said, referring to the incident in which Rooney also shoved his Manchester United team mate Ronaldo.
Elizondo also revealed that the then England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson came to congratulate him for his decision and even he did not approve of the young striker's behaviour.
"He (Eriksson) wanted to congratulate us. I really appreciated that. We chatted for a few seconds and he mentioned the red card. 'Rooney stamped on him, didn't he?' he asked," Elizondo said.
"I nodded. 'I can't understand how a professional player can react like that,' he told me. Then he left," he added.
Rooney has, however, maintained that he did not intentionally step on Carvalho's groin and that the incident was accidental. He has insisted that he was the one who was fouled by the Portuguese defender and deserved a free-kick instead of the red card.