Wayne Rooney is reportedly ‘bemused’ by Cristiano Ronaldo’s stinging comments towards him – but it’s said he feels ‘no animosity’ towards the Portuguese superstar.
Ronaldo, 37, has questioned Rooney’s retirement and appearance in a spectacular interview with Piers Morgan. The Manchester United forward’s comments came after the former England captain, also 37, criticized Ronaldo’s behaviour and form this season.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner refused to come on and stormed down the tunnel in United’s 2-0 win against Tottenham last month. He has scored just three goals in 16 club games for this term and finds himself playing a supporting role for Erik ten Hag’s side.
Ronaldo has told his side of the story in an interview with Morgan, which is released in full on Wednesday and Thursday. The veteran forward has criticized his employers and Ten Hag, as well as several others – including Ralf Rangnick, Gary Neville and Rooney.
The football world is now waiting to hear Rooney’s response. According to Sky Sports, Rooney is ‘bemused’ by his former team-mate’s words but feels ‘no animosity’ towards him. Rooney is not expected to make a public statement on the matter.
Rooney was asked whether Ronaldo makes United a better team interview with talkSPORT. “No, I don’t think so,” said Rooney. “Him and [Lionel] Messi are arguably the two best players of all time and you can go either way with that, whatever way you decide.
“But I just think the things he has done from the start of the season; it is not acceptable for Man Utd. I’ve seen Roy Keane defending him. Roy wouldn’t accept that. Roy wouldn’t accept that at all.
“It is a distraction that Man Utd doesn’t need at the minute, trying to rebuild. For Cristiano, just get your head down and work and be ready to play when the manager needs you. If he does that, he will be an asset. If he doesn’t, it will become an unwanted distraction.”
When asked about Rooney’s comments, Ronaldo said: “I don’t understand, you should ask this question to him. I don’t know why he criticized me so bad.”