Ronaldo wants to renew partnership with Rooney

Ronaldo wants to renew partnership with Rooney

Published Feb. 25, 2010 3:29 p.m. ET

Cristiano Ronaldo said Wednesday he wants to renew his feared striking partnership with Wayne Rooney.

The Portugal forward has scored 12 goals in an injury-hit first season with Real Madrid since joining the Spanish club for a world-record 80 million pounds (€94 million; $131 million) but is still interested in linking up again with the man he left behind at Manchester United.

The chances of that happening any time soon are slim, with Rooney having taken over from his former teammate as the focal point of the United attack, but Ronaldo said he is still in touch with Rooney and is looking further down the line.

"I hope to play with him again some day," Ronaldo said. "Anything is possible. I am really happy for him this season, and not just for him but for the other players at Manchester."

Rooney has scored 27 goals for United this season and excelled under the extra responsibility thrust upon him by Ronaldo's exit in July.

With Rooney so central to United's progress, it may take Ronaldo to move back to the Premier League to reunite the pair. Ronaldo said that he is still in touch with many players at the club as well as manager Alex Ferguson.

"I speak with the boss, Ferguson, sometimes," Ronaldo said. "Rooney I speak with. Rio (Ferdinand), (Nemanja) Vidic, (Patrice) Evra, Nani, Anderson, many of them. Just because I have left the club does not mean my relationship with these guys ends.

"I have spent many years playing with them and they are still my friends. But what I speak to the boss about is private."

Unlike Ronaldo, Rooney has stated his loyalty to United and not expressed any desire to switch clubs, even for one as prestigious as Madrid or Barcelona.

"The form of Rooney does not impress me, because of the quality he has," Ronaldo said at the launch of Nike's Mercurial Superfly boot in London. "He was always brilliant. This season he is playing very well and scoring many goals, but he is not a different player.

"He is a winning guy."

Madrid and United are second in the Spanish league and Premier League respectively.

United seemed to struggle initially following the sale of Ronaldo, who led the club to a record-equaling three straight Premier League titles, but Rooney has hit 19 goals in his last 19 games to make this the most profitable of his career.

And Rooney could come up against Ronaldo at the World Cup in South Africa at the end of this season.

The pair met at the 2006 World Cup quarterfinal stage, with Rooney sent off and Ronaldo's Portugal advancing via a penalty shootout.

This time, England cruised to qualification, while Portugal was forced into a playoff before qualifying for a tough group that also includes Brazil, Ivory Coast and North Korea.

"In my opinion, Portugal has the most difficult group in the World Cup," Ronaldo said. "It is not just Brazil, but the Ivory Coast is a fantastic team and we have to make sure we win the first game."