Rooney has eye on Ronaldo revenge

Wayne Rooney would welcome the opportunity to gain World Cup

revenge over former Manchester United team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo.

Rooney saw red after a challenge on Ricardo Carvalho during

England’s World Cup quarter-final defeat by Portugal four years

ago, with Ronaldo vilified for winking at the bench as the striker

trudged from the field.

Many pundits expected the duo to become club enemies after

the international incident, but Rooney immediately buried the

hatchet to ensure the Red Devils were not distracted in their quest

for glory.

Despite Ronaldo having left Old Trafford in the summer in an

£80million move to Real Madrid, the duo remain in touch.

But with the possibility of another head-to-head meeting on

the cards at South Africa this summer, Rooney has one eye on

revenge.

He said: “Cristiano is rightly the World Player of the Year

and, in my eyes, is still the best in the world.

“I’d do anything I could to try to get him off that pitch,

and I understand why he did it to me.

“I spoke to him after the game. I knew what was coming and

what was going to happen in the press. I said: ‘Just make sure you

get your head right.’

“It was an important year for United and I didn’t want that

to ruin our chances of challenging that year and it didn’t.

“From that night onwards we had no problems and we’re still

pals. We still speak regularly on the phone and he was a brilliant

player for United.”

Rooney burst onto the international scene at Euro 2004 before

his tournament was prematurely ended by a broken metatarsal against

Portugal, with the same foes accounting for Sven-Goran Eriksson’s

side in Germany two years later.

The United star, who is enjoying the most prolific season of

his career, is eager for success on the global stage with Fabio

Capello now at the helm after the dark days of Steve McClaren’s

reign.

He added: “I have big targets to achieve with United between

now and the end of the season but I also can’t wait for the World

Cup.

“Both my tournaments with England have ended in

disappointment. The first one I broke my foot at Euro 2004 and the

second one I got a red card.

“Hopefully, I can have a better time this summer and with

Fabio Capello in charge we know we will be focused on trying to

win.”