Rooney responds to Ronaldo's 'rat' snipe and insists he hasn't criticised former teammate

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Cristiano Ronaldo Manchester United 2022-23
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Wayne Rooney has defended his comments after Cristiano Ronaldo appeared to imply his former Manchester United team-mate was a 'rat' to Piers Morgan.
  • Ronaldo insinuated Rooney was a 'rat'
  • Rooney labelled comments as 'strange'
  • Admits he hopes United take action

WHAT HAPPENED? Rooney came up in Ronaldo's chat with Morgan's TalkTV, where the Portugal international stated: "Well, not only him, imagine the rest of the rats that criticise me too." After receiving the Player Career Award at the 2022 Globe Soccer Awards in Dubai, Rooney addressed Ronaldo's comments and the interview more broadly. He labelled it 'strange' and hoped that the club would deal with the matter accordingly.

WHAT THEY SAID: "Cristiano Ronaldo's a fantastic player and, as I've said before, he and Messi are the two best players probably to play the game," Rooney told CNN. "And, again, it's not a criticism. What I've said is age comes to all of us, and Cristiano is obviously feeling now that he's finally had to deal with that.

"Obviously, he's done an interview, and it's gone global, and it's strange, some of the comments are strange. But I'm sure Manchester United will deal with it once they've seen the full interview, and they will take whatever action they need to take."

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THE BIGGER PICTURE: Rooney wasn't the only person associated with United to be targeted by Ronaldo's petulant tirade. The 37-year-old was dismissive of former coach Ralph Ragnick, and claimed that current boss Erik Ten Hag doesn't respect him. As the club seek legal action, those in the present United dressing room reportedly want Ronaldo out of the club before the end of the World Cup.


Wayne Rooney Cristiano Ronaldo Manchester United

Wayne Rooney Cristiano Ronaldo World Cup 2006

WHAT NEXT FOR RONALDO? With Ronaldo's bridges burnt at United - which was deliberate, according to Gary Neville - it appears he has no future at the Premier League club. His attentions will instead turn to international duties, when Portugal kick off their World Cup campaign in Group H against Ghana next Thursday.