Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that Cristiano Ronaldo’s infamous wink during the 2006 World Cup had nothing to do with Wayne Rooney.
Ronaldo caused a national uproar when Portugal beat England on penalties after Rooney’s departure.
The England striker was given a straight red after being caught stamping on then-Chelsea defender Ricardo Carvalho.
Before he was caught blinking by TV cameras, Ronaldo resisted being shown a red card to his Manchester United teammate after Rooney was given his marching orders.
The controversy put great pressure on United and Rooney was eager to clear the air with an interview ahead of the start of the new season.
But former Red Devils boss Fergie says Ronaldo’s wink was not intended to send Rooney off.
79-year-old Ferguson told UTD Podcast: “He was not blinking after Rooney was sent off. He was blinking as his bench was telling him to ‘calm down’.
“Waza was fantastic. He called me up and said, ‘Why not do a TV interview with the two of us at the start of the season.
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“It looked a little gimmicky. That was great. He knew he wasn’t sent off because of Ronaldo.
“He was sent out for a tackle on a Portuguese player.”
Despite the controversy, both Rooney and Ronaldo helped United win the Premier League title the following season, scoring 23 goals each.
They also took United to the FA Cup final and the Champions League semi-final, where they lost to Chelsea and AC Milan.
But Ferguson says Ronaldo was keen to pull out of the club that summer after Real Madrid registered his interest.
He explained: “Critciano didn’t want to come back.
“David Gill went to Portugal and met him and [agent] Jorge Mendes was brilliant.
“I told him I’m not selling Real Madrid. Give me your best one year and you’ll go away with my blessings.
“And Jorge Mendes says the deal is done. He didn’t even wait for Ronaldo. He knew he was in the best place.”
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