World Cup 2006 News
Rooney reiterates he didn't deliberately stamp on Carvalho
Jul 16, 2006, 12:11 GMT
London - England striker Wayne Rooney said that he did not deliberately stamp on Ricardo Carvalho in the World Cup quarter-final with Portugal for which he was kicked out of the match.
Rooney, in his autobiography 'My story so far' serialised in the Mail on Sunday paper, also said that he had no row with his Portuguese Manchester United team-mate Christiano Ronaldo and that any speculation about a major rift between the two was media hype.
'I'll go to my grave and still maintain it was a complete accident. I hadn't intended to do it,' Rooney insisted.
'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.
'I couldn't believe that the ref, who was so near, hadn't realised that. Perhaps he was too near. What he saw, close up, was the player on the ground and then my foot going into his groin,' he said.
Rooney was sent off on the hour of the July 1 match Gelsenkirchen and Portugal went on to win on penalties after a 0-0 deadlock from 120 minutes of play. He said he was overcome by emotions afterwards.
'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. I didn't feel guilty about what had happened because I still felt innocent. But my sending-off had let them down. Because of me, for whatever reason, they'd been made to struggle on with only 10 men,' he said.
But Rooney dismissed suggestions that he was unable to control his emotions and was undergoing anger management in Manchester. he also said there was no major row with Ronaldo who appeared to be urging the referee to send off Rooney in the incident.
'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,' Rooney said.
Some blamed Rooney's behaviour on frustration about being fielded as the lone striker in the game by now departed coach Sven-Goran Eriksson. Rooney said he would have personally preferred an attacking partner, but didn't want to be too harsh on the Swedish coach.
'If it had been my decision, I would probably have preferred Peter Crouch up front, with me behind, but it wasn't my shout. You have to believe the manager knows best. Which I did. I had complete trust in him, that he was doing the best thing in the circumstances.
'Sven wanted to pack the midfield. We all knew, and understood that was our plan. I didn't moan about it - and now it's long over, I'm not complaining. It seemed right at the time,' Rooney said.© 2006 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur