Boa Morte: He did nothing Ron
By Phil Jackson. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Luis Boa Morte has been sticking up for his World Cup team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo, ahead of their domestic clash on Sunday.
The fiery 29-year-old Fulham captain was on the bench when Manchester United star Wayne Rooney was sent off in the quarter final of the international tournament.
England's chances of winning the precious trophy for only the second time in their history were effectively ended by the incident and the tabloid press went to town.
The Portuguese players, and in particular Ronaldo, became the scapegoat for the Three Lions' failings, but Boa Morte has defended his club rival's behaviour as innocuous.
"We didn't even see Ronaldo do the wink - we only saw it in the papers," Boa Morte told the Sun.
"It is unfair when you say he tried to get Rooney sent off. What happened happens in football and we should put it behind us.
"I am up against Ronaldo but I am just trying to look after Fulham - that's my job. It isn't true Ronaldo got Rooney sent off.
"I'm not going to say how Ronaldo will handle this situation because who knows what is going through his head or at his club? That is for them to deal with."
United have backed the young winger to the hilt, and while he has been told to expect a torrid reception at away games, the season opener against The Cottagers on Prem Plus on Sunday should be a fairly tame re-introduction to The Premiership.