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Last Updated: Saturday, 12 August 2006, 22:30 GMT 23:30 UK
Gerrard dubs Ronaldo a 'disgrace'
Steven Gerrard (left) and Cristiano Ronaldo
Gerrard was unhappy at Ronaldo's gamesmanship
Steven Gerrard has branded Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo "a disgrace" for his part in Wayne Rooney's sending-off at the World Cup.

Gerrard was furious when Ronaldo got involved after Rooney appeared to stamp on Portugal defender Ricardo Carvalho.

"Sadly a dark side stains Cristiano Ronaldo's game," writes Gerrard in his autobiography, which is being serialised in the News of the World.

"His part in Wayne Rooney's dismissal was a disgrace."

The Liverpool midfielder, who was appointed vice-captain of England this week, expressed particular dissatisfaction with the wink that Ronaldo appeared to give to his team-mates on the bench after Rooney had been dismissed.

Me and the other players constantly claimed we could win the World Cup - it was stupid

Steven Gerrard

"What really [got to] all the England players was Ronaldo's wink to his bench. It was a wink which said 'job done'. How could he do that to his Manchester United team-mate?

"On the bus after the game Wayne asked me: 'What do you think about the wink?'

"I said: 'Honestly, Wazza, if we were playing Spain and [Liverpool team-mates] Xabi Alonso or Luis Garcia winked at the referee or gave a signal for me to be sent off, I'd never speak to them again.'"

When Argentine referee Horacio Elizondo halted play and then brandished a red card, Gerrard initially thought it was for a Portuguese player.

"Players like Carvalho are damaging football, not Wayne Rooney," writes Gerrard.

"It's coached into them that when an incident like that happens, they go to work on the ref.

Theo Walcott will mature into a very good player, but he had no right to be in Germany

Steven Gerrard
"Ronaldo was at the front. But the blame does not just rest with him. Five or six Portuguese players were at it."

Gerrard also believes the cockiness of England's players at the World Cup cost them dearly.

"We were not as good as we thought we were. England were guilty of over-confidence. Me and the other players placed too much pressure on ourselves by constantly claiming we could win the World Cup.

"Stupid. We talked ourselves up too much. Never again. In future tournaments we must learn to be humble."

Gerrard was also critical of former England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson, who stepped down after the tournament, particularly the Swede's decision to select Arsenal striker Theo Walcott, who had never played in the Premiership.

"A few decisions were wrong, like not taking five strikers. He certainly shouldn't have brought Theo Walcott to Germany.

"Not only were England embarking on an arduous World Cup campaign with only four forwards but one of them was Theo Walcott.

"I almost fell over when I heard. Now let's get one or two things right about Theo. He's a nice lad and one day he will mature into a very good player.

"But he had no right to be in Germany. None at all. I was gobsmacked to find him on the plane."

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