SIR ALEX FERGUSON didn’t let Gary Neville give up the captaincy at Manchester United – because he feared for a row of Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney.
Neville has revealed he feels “unworthy” of the role of captain but was forced by Ferguson to keep the peace in the Old Trafford dressing room.
Fergie was afraid that Rooney would “fail” if Ronaldo was made captain, so he decided to keep his longtime defender as captain.
Speaking on Sky Sports’ The Football Show, Neville admitted: “I got injured a year after wearing the captain’s armband and I feel like I’m not contributing as a captain should.
“I went to Sir Alex before the season, we have a great team with great personalities and players, and said I don’t deserve to be captain.
“And he said, ‘You’ll keep that captaincy, son. You and Giggs will rotate it”.
“He said ‘if I give it to Ronaldo, Rooney will start. If I give it to Vidic, Ferdinand will start’.
“It was because of the close friendship, we were the police in the dressing room, keeping everything together but I felt unworthy at that stage.”
Neville was handed the Man Utd captaincy shortly after Roy Keane’s shocking mid-season departure in November 2005.
I think Sir Alex picked me over Giggs because he’s been in and out of the team and I get to play every week.
Neville is made the captain of Man Utd
The former England star recalls: “I had Roy Keane captain for ten years and Roy’s departure was really quick and unexpected throughout the season.
“It was a huge shock and you can’t recreate Roy. I’ve worked with him, Bryan Robson and Steve Bruce and they are exceptional characters, having an impact on the dressing room.
“I can’t take over Roy and be Roy, I’m not the same character and influence.
“I want to be true to myself, I’ve been a representative of the PFA since I was 23 years old, I believe in players sticking together.
“I think Sir Alex picked me over Ryan Giggs because he’s been in and out of the team because Sir Alex likes to rotate his players and I play every week.
“For five or six years I was captain, it was me, Ryan and Scholes were captain. We worked together to make sure we set the tone and standards in the dressing room.
“It’s a different approach to Keane and Robson, they’re influential. Roy is the most influential player I’ve ever seen on and off the pitch.”
Rooney also opened up about his relationship with Ronaldo after the Portuguese star’s infamous wink at Euro 2004, said it had finally made them CLOSER.
Ronaldo ran to the referee to send Rooney off for his behavior towards Ricardo Carvalho.
Rooney recalls: “When he ran to ask Elizondo to send me away, I pushed him away. In that moment, I couldn’t believe what he was doing.
“But sitting in that dressing room gave me time to calm down and think.
“I put myself in Ronaldo’s shoes. Will I do the same? Maybe so. Will I face the referee to make sure he gets sent off?”
“If he deserves the red, if it will help us win – yes, no question. I will do it tomorrow.
“I thought, ‘Actually, I tried to get him to sign up to dive in the first half’.
“And the wink, I couldn’t see anything in it. It was nothing. So I calmed down.”
Rooney added: “In the dressing room we are always very close. The two of us always play pranks on the head coach or other players.
“And what happened has brought us closer together on the pitch.
“The next three years were our best as partners and brought home three titles and the Champions League. My red card at Gelsenkirchen was the starting point.”
https://www.thesun.ie/sport/football/5322235/man-utd-fergie-neville-captain-rooney-ronaldo/ Man Utd legend Sir Alex Ferguson won’t let Gary Neville give up the ‘f *** ing’ captaincy for fear of Ronaldo and Rooney clash – The Irish Sun