Former England manager Sven Goran Eriksson has revealed how a row with Sir Alex Ferguson over the World Cup fitness of Wayne Rooney ruined his chances of becoming Manchester United manager, reports Sky Sports.
In his new autobiography, the 65-year-old Swede recalled how the broken metatarsal injury suffered by the striker was the subject of a heated debate between representatives from the Football Association and the Premier League champions.
Manchester United's club doctor highlighted in a meeting between Eriksson and Ferguson at the Old Trafford club's Carrington training ground that Rooney would not recover in time to be included in the Three Lions' 2006 World Cup squad.
It was a notion that was strongly rejected by England specialist Leif Sward, who assured Eriksson that the Red Devils marksman would make a full return to fitness.
"Leif and I met Ferguson and United's doctor at the United training ground," Eriksson explained. "'He cannot play in the World Cup', Ferguson said flatly.
"The doctor brought out some X-rays that he said showed Rooney's broken bone would not heal in time. When the doctor finished, Leif looked him in the eye. 'Why do you sit here and lie to me?' Leif asked.
"He was one of Europe's foremost specialists on this kind of injury."
After passing Rooney fit for the tournament, the Manchester United striker endured a disappointing campaign, failing to score a single goal, as well as being sent off in England's quarter-final defeat against Portugal.
Eriksson holds no regrets about including the former Everton man in his 23-man squad, even if it played a part in him being overlooked for the Manchester United job, having held talks with the club about succeeding Ferguson at Old Trafford four years earlier.
"I just wish I could have filmed Ferguson's face when Leif explained that Wayne's break would heal in time for the World Cup," he added.
"When Leif had finished, I turned to Ferguson. 'Sorry, Alex,' I said. 'I will pick Rooney'."
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