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Wayne Rooney says he didn’t dive to trigger Schweinsteiger’s red card

Apr 3, 2014, 10:24 AM EDT

Britain Soccer Champions League AP

Wayne Rooney says he did not dive or try to get Bastian Schweinsteiger sent off during Manchester United’s 1-1 draw with Bayern Munich in Tuesday’s Champions League clash.

The incident occurred in the closing seconds of the quarter-final first leg at Old Trafford when Rooney gathered the ball outside his 18 yard box and took a heavy touch that he and the Bayern center midfielder raced to. Rooney got to the ball before Schweinsteiger’s sliding challenge that made minimal contact with the United striker.

Rooney went down under the tackle, claiming it was necessary to avoid injury. Schweinsteiger was shown his second yellow by referee Carlos Velasco Carballo and thereafter confronted Rooney about the incident.

“I don’t really want to say what he said but I think it’s a foul,” Rooney stated. “It could have gone either way. He could have hurt me, he’s gone in with his studs and the referee has booked him, so it’s not my decision. It’s not nice to see anyone sent off and I didn’t try to get him sent off. The referee has made a decision. I’ve tried to stop myself getting hurt and the referee has had a decision to make.”

Rarely one to go down to gain an advantage, there’s a strong chance Rooney would have been in trouble if he didn’t hurdle Schweinsteiger’s challenge. That said, Rooney’s mid-air pull out strongly resembled Maradona-esque dramatics, regardless of his motive. It was a tough decision for the referee but given Schweinsteiger’s intent and the fact he was late to the ball by a split second, seemed logical.

Rooney added that Bayern will be fine without Schweinsteiger and Javi Martínez, who is suspended due to card accumulation. “They have got a great squad and players who will come in,” referring to players like Dante, who was rested on Tuesday.

United travel to Newcastle on Saturday (10:00am ET on NBCSN) before heading Bavaria on April 9th for the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final.

  1. atlrod - Apr 3, 2014 at 10:45 AM

    After the paragraph that followed Rooney’s quote, I kept looking for an April 1 dateline or evidence of further satire. It was like every sentence was designed to provoke laughter. “Never one to go down for an advantage…” Really? REALLY?! Wayne Rooney? Are we talking about the same player. Go watch the parade of YouTube clips of him diving. He’s a SERIAL DIVER. He’s not Drogba or Luis Suarez, but come on, man. It was a “safe-proof move” and “wasn’t designed to draw an advantageous call?!” Have you looked at the replay? The man flings himself with is knees down and feet up, hands flung back, head thrown back as if he’s just been shot in the back! There wasn’t MINIMAL contact. There was NO contact. If he just wanted to avoid the tackle, all he had to do was hop over and keep running. He was conning the ref, as is fairly typical of his game. Look at it!

    That’s a stone-cold dive. It was cynical and ridiculous. I don’t know that he knew was tackling him so I don’t know that he was trying to get Schweinsteiger sent off, but he was trying to get a card for whoever was coming in. Rooney just gets away with it because he’s English and plays for United. If that was Suarez (and I hate Liverpool, so I’m not advocating for him either), the press would have crucified him.

    • klstein6 - Apr 4, 2014 at 9:46 AM

      Typical terrible “let’s prop up Man utd, can’t criticize them, we may lose readers!” that seems to have become a repeat theme on this site. Most stories they still claim that they still have a chance to make the top 4. Probably after the season their write up will say that man u made champs league. Shame what has happened to this site.

  2. massconn72 - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:51 PM

    Soccer(football) players are biggest bunch of babies in pro sports.

    • lyleoross - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:13 PM

      I only hear these kinds of comments from people who’ve never taken a cleat to the groin or down during a hard fight over the ball. Once that has happened and they realize just how hard the contact in football(soccer) is, they stop. If you kicked an American style football player in the groin full on, he’d go down and hard.

      BTW – why is it that there are now all these rules protecting football players from hard hits? Because a lot of people are worried about brain damage, and rightly so. Are players babies for wanting to protect their brains and bodies from the punishment of this sport?

      The NBA has many notorious divers. It’s a part of the sport. I’ve never heard them called babies? Of course, Danny A was a notorious cannibal… :)

      Could it be that we are prejudiced against a sport simply because it isn’t one of the big three in the U.S. (at least not yet)?

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