The altercation that Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal had with Wayne Rooney of England in a clash of both countries at the 2006 World Cup ultimately led to Ronaldo leaving Manchester United.
The fallout of both players on the field made Ronaldo a ‘public enemy number one’ among Manchester United followers.
It all happened as Ronaldo was caught on camera winking to the Portugal bench after he pleaded with the referee to send Rooney off.
Ronaldo, however, saw nothing wrong with his actions and felt he was unfairly treated when he arrived back at Old Trafford.
He said in July 2006: ‘I think I should get out of Manchester.
‘The circumstances are not right to keep playing in Manchester. In two or three days, I will decide where to go.
‘I always said I wanted to play in Spain. Nobody stood up for me at Manchester, although I did not do anybody any harm.’
Daily Mail quoted La Liga’s former sporting director Valencia, Amedeo Carboni. As saying that
Valencia were hoping to take advantage of the situation surrounding the Manchester United star following an altercation with his club team-mate Wayne Rooney at the World Cup.
Speaking of the role he played in planning a potential swoop for the superstar, Carboni told Il Posticipo: ‘I arrived at the right time, Valencia was the city that benefited most from this economic, social and sporting “boom.”
‘We had found the financial resources to get him; we had made arrangements with Nike and Coca Cola – the player’s sponsors.
‘Ronaldo at that time was already earning 10 million net a year, a lot for a club like Valencia.
‘Then we reached the stage where Cristiano had argued with Manchester United. In 2006-07 Valencia was experiencing a “boom”, and I had his “yes’ to sign him”.’
Valencia, who finished that season in third place, had hoped Ronaldo would leave the Premier League to represent them in Spain.
However, the former United man wanted to play alongside the likes of David Villa, Raul Albiol, Pablo Aimar and Hugo Viana instead.
Carboni said that he had ‘the contracts signed by [Jorge] Mendes, nothing was missing between Ronaldo, his agent and myself. The deal, however, did not materialise.’
At the time, Ronaldo had only won an FA Cup and League Cup during his three seasons in Manchester.
Though he did go on to reach new heights and claim one of his five Ballon d’Or crowns while at the club.
He later moved to Spain in 2009, but for Valencia’s rivals Real Madrid instead.