England striker Wayne Rooney has no sympathy for Portugal and is hoping that his former Manchester United team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo does not make it to next summer’s World Cup.
Rooney was sent off during England’s exit from the 2006 World Cup at the hands of Portugal.
The pair have not always seen eye-to-eye following Ronaldo’s infamous wink at the Portugal bench after Rooney was sent off for stamping on Ricardo Carvalho.
Three years on and Rooney has already qualified for South Africa with the Three Lions, but Ronaldo’s chances of being there with a struggling Portugal side are hanging by a thread.
Ronaldo is struggling to be fit for Portugal’s upcoming double-header against Hungary and Malta which they must win, but Rooney is hoping that his former Old Trafford team-mate is not in South Africa next summer.
However, Rooney insists it is nothing personal against his one-time colleague.
“It would be nice to see Portugal not there because they have knocked us out of the last two tournaments,” he said.
“Obviously when we didn’t qualify for Euro 2008, we got a lot of stick. You have banter with your team-mates.
“But it’s important not to go too far because it is an important issue and, to be honest, I am not too bothered whether they are there or not.”
Meanwhile, Rooney has admitted that Ronaldo’s wink probably prevented him from being made a scapegoat for England’s 2006 exit.
“I was happy I didn’t get the stick Becks (David Beckham) got (in the 1998 sending off against Argentina) and even Phil Neville did at Euro 2000,” he said.
“I didn’t really get any stick. Ronaldo took a lot of it and I’m pleased with that.”