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Inside collapse of Ronaldo and Rooney’s friendship, from Man Utd pranksters to ‘Winkergate’ and Piers Morgan revelation

CRISTIANO RONALDO and Wayne Rooney’s friendship has taken a battering recently

The two spent five successful seasons playing together at Old Trafford before Ronaldo left in a record transfer to Real Madrid in 2009.

Cristiano Ronaldo has fallen out with his old friend Wayne Rooney after the English striker’s criticism of him.
Getty - Contributor
Rooney and Ronaldo played at the club for five years together.
News Group Newspapers Ltd
Rooney recently criticised Ronaldo for refusing to come off the bench for Manchester United.
Ronaldo has however hit back at Rooney for his recent criticism of him.

However, things between the duo have soured recently as Ronaldo fired back at Rooney for criticising his actions at Manchester United in his interview with Piers Morgan.

Rooney has hung up his playing boots and is currently managing MLS side DC United.

Ronaldo is preparing to go to the World Cup in Qatar, while also making headlines with the fallout from his interview.

Former England star Rooney recently suggested that age is getting to the Portuguese star.



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And he slammed Ronaldo when he refused to come onto the pitch in the Red Devils match against Tottenham in October.

Rooney said: “The things he has done from the start of season, it is not acceptable for Manchester United.”

Ronaldo blasted back in his bombshell TalkTV interview with Piers Morgan.

The Portuguese superstar said: “I don’t know why he criticises me so badly… probably because he finished his career and I’m still playing at a high level.


“I’m not going to say that I’m looking better than him. Which is true…”

The pair did use to be close during their time together.

Rooney revealed in his Sunday Times column back in February that they used to be the squad pranksters at Old Trafford.

He wrote: “It was always the two of us doing pranks on the manager or other players.”

Many football fans were convinced that they fell out after the 2006 Euros, when Ronaldo winked after Rooney was sent off in the quarter-final clash.

The England striker stamped on then-Chelsea defender Ricardo Carvahlo and was sent off in the 61st minute by referee Horacio Elizondo.

Now DC United manager, Rooney has previously revealed that the pair were the jokers at the Red Devils.[/caption]
Ronaldo notoriously winked to the Portugal bench after Rooney was sent off in their World Cup tie in 2006

But Rooney actually insisted that they became closer after a clear-the-air talk in the tunnel after the game.

He revealed in the Sunday Times in April 2020 that he would have done the same had he been in Ronaldo’s shoes.

He wrote: “I went over to him afterwards in the tunnel. I felt it was important to speak to him while it was still fresh and to do it face to face.

“He gave me a look as if to say sorry but by then I had my United head on.

Wayne Rooney sees red against Portugal in 2006
Rooney has since said that he and Ronaldo had clear-the-air talks after the game.

“I said I’ve no issues with you. Enjoy your tournament and good luck. I’ll see you in a few weeks — and let’s go try and win the league.”

So it is not the first time the two have had their differences.

However they have always managed to kiss and make up in the past.

Yet it seems the relationship had started to fracture last September after Rooney’s criticism of Ronaldo after he re-joined Manchester United.

Ronaldo said on the interview with Morgan: “It was one year ago, or six months ago.

“We’re here in my house, he picked up his kids here and he invited (12-year-old son) Cristiano to go to his house to play football.

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“I really don’t understand people like that. Or if they want to be on a cover of the paper in the news or they want new jobs or whatever.”

When asked if he still considers Rooney [along with Gary Neville] as a friend, he added: “They are not my friends, they are colleagues.

“We play together, they’re not coming, we’re not ever having dinner together.”

This time it seems there’s no easy fix, and Ronaldo and Rooney have become the best of frenemies.

Watch ‘Piers Morgan Uncensored: 90 Minutes with Ronaldo’, 8pm on Wednesday and Thursday on TalkTV. Find TalkTV on Sky 526, Virgin Media 606, Freeview 237, Freesat 217 and Sky Glass 508, live and on demand on the TalkTV app, streaming services and at Talk.TV

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