Wayne Rooney says his stamp on Ricardo Carvalho in the World Cup quarter-final defeat to Portugal was not deliberate.
Rooney was sent off after 62 minutes of the World Cup quarter-final
The England striker, 20, was dismissed after the challenge and a subsequent confrontation with Cristiano Ronaldo.
But in his book, serialised in the Mail on Sunday, Rooney insisted: "I'll go to my grave and still maintain it was a complete accident.
"I hadn't intended to do it. I had my back to the player. I couldn't see him, or where I was putting my foot."
Rooney added: "If you think about it, if I'd done it deliberately, if it had been a definite stamp meant to harm him, he would still be in hospital to this day.
I was aware that my foot had landed between his legs, which, of course, is about the nastiest place to get hurt, but it was an accident
"But he was up on his feet in minutes, no worse for wear.
"I was aware that my foot had landed between his legs, which, of course, is about the nastiest place to get hurt, but it was an accident.
"I couldn't believe that the ref, who was so near, hadn't realised that. Perhaps he was too near."
Rooney also said that Manchester United team-mate Ronaldo did not try to wind him up before the game.
"In the tunnel, we wished each other good luck in the game," said Rooney.
"Then he asked me if I'd heard where Quinton Fortune was going? Neither of us knew the latest. So that was it."
Rooney argues with Ronaldo (far left) and midfielder Petit as Carvalho lies injured on the turf
Fortune, Ronaldo and Rooney are team-mates at Manchester United, although South African Fortune is close to sealing a move to Premiership rivals Bolton.
Ronaldo was blamed in some quarters for helping to get Rooney a red card because of his reaction to the Carvalho incident.
He rushed up to the referee and was then pushed by Rooney, but the Englishman is keen to stress there was no suggestion of any niggle between the two in the build-up to the game.
"We said good luck to each other, once more. And then the game began," added Rooney.
Rooney also said he was "a bit sad" to see the end of Sven-Goran Eriksson's reign as England boss.
"I think he was forced out by the press. They backed him into the corner. I always found him a very clever man and a good manager," said Rooney.
I think he was emotional, deep down... he did care
Rooney on former England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson
"They said he wasn't emotional enough and it's true I never saw him lose his temper or shout. But I think he was emotional, deep down. He did care.
"With him, it was always inside his body. I always liked his style, his calm manner.
"He did do his homework and prepared well and got his points across clearly.
"Most of all, he always trusted the players 100%. I like a manager who does that, who doesn't treat us like kids."