It’s a sad time when a professional footballer can’t let his hair down even when he isn’t set to play another match for seven days.
The reaction to Wayne Rooney’s drinking fiasco has been nothing short of unfair. Slammed by some portions of the media, the Manchester United ace felt compelled to express his true feelings after Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Arsenal.
“What’s been going on is disgraceful,” he said, via The Guardian.
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“I’m proud to play for my country and I’m proud of my achievements. It’s not finished yet. I think what’s been going on is disgraceful. It shows a lack of respect and I think enough is enough.
“Enough is enough. It feels as if the media are trying to write my obituary and I won’t let that happen. I love playing for my country and I am proud of my achievements to date – but I have not finished yet.”
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Rooney has received support from Gary Lineker, Gary Neville and Jurgen Klopp, all of whom believe the reaction has gone overboard.
Rio Ferdinand has weighed in
Rio Ferdinand has gone a step further, claiming his former United teammate could be compelled to leave Old Trafford as a result of the harsh treatment.
“It baffles me that there is such a furore when a footballer has a night out but little fuss is made if people from other sports do the same,” Ferdinand told the Evening Standard.
“Everyone knows that rugby players tend to celebrate with a drink or two when they win a game and yet they are not judged by the same standards. That is neither fair nor makes sense.
“Can anyone blame Rooney if he decides to swan off into the sunset to a foreign country after all the negative scrutiny he’s been getting?
“He showed his anger the other day by making a brief statement to the media and you do suspect he would be in the right to move elsewhere to get away from it all.”
It’s more likely that Rooney would head to another country when he’s no longer good enough for the Premier League.
Yet it’s not hard to see where Ferdinand is coming from. Would have as much scrutiny been paid had, say, Phil Jagielka been the one at the wedding party?
Ferdinand continued: “Fans often wonder why footballers are becoming increasingly detached from the general public and are less keen to engage. Well, here is a perfect example why.
“Someone probably sold those pictures of Rooney to make a bit of money when he was just trying to be nice and interact with people at someone’s wedding reception.
“After it made the headlines, why would any player put themselves in that position again?”