Rooney: There's always conflict between us

United striker admits his performance was affected after Ferguson fined him

Wayne Rooney has admitted that he was "tense" after being fined by Sir Alex Ferguson over his performance in training following his night out on Boxing Day and that it affected his performance on the pitch. The Manchester United striker added that he has fallen out with Ferguson in the past, but that the Old Trafford manager was "the greatest present life has given me".

Speaking to the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, the 26-year-old also responded to Roberto Mancini's claim that he got Vincent Kompany sent off during Sunday's explosive Manchester derby. "It's a... point of view," said Rooney, whose words might seem unusually expressive, having been translated into Italian and back again.

"He [Mancini] claimed that I encouraged the referee to send off Kompany with a gesture. If it were like that, every player who makes that gesture after suffering a foul would direct the game in place of the referee and obviously it can't be like that. And the fact that it was a legitimate sending-off is confirmed by the four-match suspension and the rejection of the appeal."

On the subject of Ferguson, Rooney was candid. "You can't always agree," he said. "Football is made up of all kinds of conflict. In a dressing room, between players, between us and the manager, between us and loads of people who don't seem to matter. It's constant and harsh sometimes."

Rooney was asked if he had complained about the fine, which amounted to one week's wages of £160,000. "Yes, but for reasons that I can't say. I accepted it. But I was tense when I got back on the pitch and I think it showed." Not that he appears to hold it against Ferguson.

Asked who had given him the most in football, he answered: "My manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, the greatest present that life has given me." Rooney also spoke about Cristiano Ronaldo, who left Old Trafford for Real Madrid in 2009. "It was thrilling and also a learning experience to play alongside him," he said. "[I was] perhaps a little [disappointed when he left]. But I was also quite happy for him too because he had the desire to try something else: 87 goals in 80 games says it all, no?"

One of the reasons Rooney was not too worried was his club's resilience. "For this reason, the club is perfect: and don't say I'm biased," he said.

Having declared his continued love for Everton ("If I were to say I did not support them, I'd be ashamed"), the Merseysider demonstrated how much he was relishing United's FA Cup fourth-round encounter with Liverpool, saying: "I'm ready for it."

Ravel Morrison, the 18-year-old considered the great hope of United's youth ranks, made an enigmatic statement last night about the prospect of remaining beyond the summer, stating on Twitter: "No contract offer to talk about."

Morrison came on as a substitute in Carling Cup games but, despite United's lack of fit midfielders, he has not established himself as a first-team prospect. Morrison's contract expires this summer, though a change of agent may have hampered attempts to secure his future. Ferguson and the club's chief executive, David Gill, have sought to support him at a time when he has been in recurrent trouble with the police.

Talking Italian: Rooney translated

Wayne Rooney's interview with the Italian newspaper La Repubblica saw him on unusually expansive form – perhaps because it had been translated into Italian and back again:

At 26, do you still consider yourself to be in a state of evolution? "There are many ways to grow football-wise. You go slow or are pushed to go faster, otherwise you get left behind. For me, there would be trouble in stopping learning."

Who is or was your perfect partner? "Perfect partners don't exist. Perfect conditions exist for a limited time in which partnerships express themselves best."

You could have won the Puskas award with your bicycle kick against City: then Neymar won it with the goal against Flamengo... "The important thing is to be there, score when needed. It's better if the goals are beautiful, better still if they are important."

How do you score a goal like the bicycle kick? "You stop thinking with your head and start thinking with your gut. Just like when you bring a child into the world."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions