Zlatan Ibrahimovic has fired a comical jab at ex-Manchester United teammate Wayne Rooney on stage at the Globe Soccer Awards in Dubai, after Cristiano Ronaldo’s criticism about Rooney in his latest interview.
The Swedish star forward was being interviewed with PSG defender Sergio Ramos, when he was asked how he was. The ever-funny front man replied saying he is “as sharp as a knife,” before looking and laughing at his former teammate Wayne Rooney and asked:
“Wazza, [do] I look sharp or not?””Zlatan Ibrahimović
The jest appeared to be in reference to a recent interview with Cristiano Ronaldo, who threw some serious (if light hearted) shade at the ex-England star. In the interview with Piers Morgan, which aired early Thursday and Friday morning in Australia, Ronaldo said:
“To listen as ex-colleagues or teammates criticise you, when they only see one point of view.”
He continued, “You should ask the questions to him [Rooney]. I don’t know. I don’t know why he criticised me so badly. Probably because he finished his career in his 30’s. I’m still playing at a high level; I’m not going to say that I’m better looking than him, which is true.”
Despite the God-tier level pettiness from CR7, Rooney – who admittedly is probably looking slightly worse for wear than Ronaldo despite being the same age, but that’s neither here nor there – provided a surprisingly classy response in the face of the criticism.
Speaking to Times of India, Rooney said, “I’m sure he’s used to dealing with expectations. The idea of leaving a legacy is surely going through his mind. I would love to see either Messi or Ronaldo win the World Cup. It would be a fitting end to their incredible careers.”
Both Rooney and Ronaldo have shared a storied history, from being teammates under Sir Alex Ferguson, to facing off against one another when Portugal played England in the 2006 World Cup; in that game, a winking Ronaldo helped send off his then-teammate, giving Portugal the victory.
Cristiano Ronaldo Interview
But Rooney is by no means the only person Ronaldo targeted, in what is surely to become a career-defining interview.
The ex-Real Madrid forward, came after Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag, of whom he said:
“I don’t have respect for him, because he doesn’t show respect for me.”
He also came after Manchester United’s owners and the young players in the squad who he criticised for “not caring” and claimed they “have it too easy.” There is speculation that these comments – in which Ronaldo makes it fairly obvious he does not want to return to United – has led to a fractured relationship with his teammates.
But at least Ibrahimovic and Rooney are able to see the funny side of it.