Wayne Rooney row is blown out of proportion, says Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand

07 April 2011 07:57
Rio Ferdinand accepts Manchester United team-mate Wayne Rooney has made mistakes - but insists it is important that people remember he is only a footballer.

Rooney is set to discover the extent of his punishment for the four-letter outburst at West Ham on Saturday that threatens a to rule him out of the FA Cup semi-final with Manchester City at Wembley on April 16.

He put his problems behind him by netting the only goal in a 1-0 Champions League quarter-final first-leg win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge that leaves United favourites to book a last-four clash with either Inter Milan or, more probably, Schalke later this month.

Perfection: Rooney found the space and time in the Chelsea box to slot home the only goal of the game

But Rooney keeps attracting negativity. Confirmation he did not have a lucrative sponsorship contract with Coca-Cola renewed last year emphasises the adverse headlines that have dogged him and his weekend tirade only attracted more.

Ferdinand feels it has spiralled out of proportion.

'Wayne Rooney swearing on TV, as much as I don't condone it, is not front page news,' he said.

'There are bigger things going on in the world. There are things happening in Libya and Ivory Coast and we are talking about Wayne Rooney on the front page of newspapers because he swore at a camera.

'We should follow him as a footballer rather than keep lynching him for a lot of the stuff that goes on,' he said.

Flying high: Ferdinand (top) jumps for joy after Rooney's Champions League goal against Chelsea

'I wouldn't say he is innocent in a lot of the stuff that has happened but sometimes because of who he is the reaction can be over the top.'

As it presently stands, Rooney will miss Saturday's Premier League clash with Fulham at Old Trafford in addition to the semi-final.

He could face further punishment though if the FA have deemed his challenge to be frivolous.

The FA are thought to have informed United of their decision prior to kick-off on Wednesday night.

Flashpoint: Rooney's controversial goal celebration in front of the television cameras at West Ham

However, the Red Devils wanted the verdict kept under wraps until morning and it seemed their players were under instruction to follow Ferguson's lead and say nothing.

'Hopefully the decision will go his way,' said Ferdinand. 'I don't feel sorry for him. He thrives off the attention.

'But he thrives off football attention rather than the stuff on the outside. He loves playing football. That's what he wants to be judged on and talked about.'

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Source: Daily_Mail