Rooney gets sent off.

What Steven Gerrard said to Wayne Rooney about Cristiano Ronaldo's wink at the 2006 World Cup

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Can you believe that 12 years have passed since Wayne Rooney’s infamous sending off against Portugal at the 2006 World Cup?

Easily one of the most memorable moments in England’s World Cup history, the Manchester United legend received a red card after a stamp on Ricardo Carvalho.

Yet it’s perhaps not the foul that football fans remember the most, but what happened afterwards.

Portugal’s players immediately put pressure on referee Horacio Elizondo to send Rooney off, including Cristiano Ronaldo.

After Elizondo gave the forward his marching orders, Ronaldo, his Man United teammate at the time, was spotted winking at the camera.

It created a furore in the media and nobody has forgotten about it since.

"I bear no ill-feeling to Cristiano but am disappointed he chose to get involved,” Rooney, just 20-years-old at the time, said.

Ronaldo, meanwhile, insisted a drama was made out of nothing.

"At the end we texted each other and between us everything's been cleared," the Portuguese star said.

"He wasn't angry with me and, moreover, he told me to completely ignore what the English press has said, that all they wanted was to create confusion."

What Steven Gerrard said about Ronaldo

Yet one man who wasn’t ready to forgive Ronaldo was Steven Gerrard.

In his 2006 autobiography, the Liverpool legend branded Ronaldo a “disgrace” for his involvement in Rooney’s red card.

"Sadly a dark side stains Cristiano Ronaldo's game," Gerrard wrote. “His part in Wayne Rooney's dismissal was a disgrace."

What Gerrard said to Rooney on the bus

It was Ronaldo’s wink that really irked England’s players, according to Gerrard, and the midfielder had a message for Rooney on the team bus after the match, which ended in a penalty shootout win for Portugal.

"What really [got to] all the England players was Ronaldo's wink to his bench,” Gerrard continued. “It was a wink which said 'job done'. How could he do that to his Manchester United team-mate?

"On the bus after the game Wayne asked me: 'What do you think about the wink?'

"I said: 'Honestly, Wazza, if we were playing Spain and [Liverpool team-mates] Xabi Alonso or Luis Garcia winked at the referee or gave a signal for me to be sent off, I'd never speak to them again.'"

Considering Rooney’s character, it is rather surprising that he was so willing to forgive Ronaldo.

English midfielder Steven Gerrard (R) ce

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Wayne Rooney
World Cup
Cristiano Ronaldo
England Football
Manchester United
Steven Gerrard

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