Man United fallout: Rooney and Ronaldo’s World Cup bust-up revealed

Man United fallout: Rooney and Ronaldo’s World Cup bust-up revealed

Wes Brown has claimed that there was never a falling out between Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo after their infamous bust-up at the 2006 World Cup. 

The then-Manchester United team-mates were on opposing sides when England met Portugal in the quarter-finals of the tournament 18 years ago. Rooney was shown red card for a stamp on Ricardo Carvalho. 

Ronaldo was then arguably the most vocal protestor as Portugal players surrounded referee Horacio Marcelo Elizondo. Replays subsequently showed him winking at someone on the team’s bench after Rooney had been dismissed. 

The Iberian nation eventually prevailed in a penalty shootout but despite the manner of their victory, Brown – who spent 15 seasons at Old Trafford – has revealed there was ‘never one argument’ between the pair. 

‘It’s football and you do things in the heat of the moment. And you know what never happened? There was never one argument,’ he said on  the Euro Thrash podcast. 

Wayne Rooney was sent off for stamping on Ricardo Carvalho in the quarter-final of the 2006 World Cup

His then-Man United team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo was the most vocal protestor as Portugal players surrounded referee Horacio Marcelo Elizondo

His then-Man United team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo was the most vocal protestor as Portugal players surrounded referee Horacio Marcelo Elizondo

‘They just knew to get back to the club and to the be the best players in the world. And we just got on with it. The press took a lot out of it, but them two as individuals just got on with it because there’s no point in keeping on with stuff when it’s gone.’

Ronaldo’s actions made him, for a time, pubic enemy No 1 in the England and he was savagely booed upon his return to domestic action with the Red Devils that August.

A clear-the-air meeting between Ronaldo and Rooney was reported after the tournament but Brown again insisted that, if there was any animosity, it had all blown over the start of the next season.

‘Obviously Wayne would have been disappointed at the time. But when they all got back two, three, four weeks later, it had all gone by then,’ he added. ‘It was two lads and one was trying to get the other one sent off.

‘It’s as simple as that. And then winking just to say, ‘cheers mate, I see you in a few weeks back at the club’. That’s honestly what happened and they just got on with it.’

Ronaldo's wink towards the Portugal bench after the incident quickly saw him become public enemy No 1

Ronaldo’s wink towards the Portugal bench after the incident quickly saw him become public enemy No 1

Rooney and Ronaldo showed no sign of ill will when they returned to Old Trafford, with the pair pictured in high spirits in August 2006

Rooney and Ronaldo showed no sign of ill will when they returned to Old Trafford, with the pair pictured in high spirits in August 2006

In 2022, Rooney told Mail Sport that he had no issues with Ronaldo’s actions and claimed that he would have done the same if their roles were reversed. 

He said: ‘There was never any issue. 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.’ 

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