The Manchester United player was shown a straight red card 62 minutes into his team’s quarter final against Portugal after stamping on defender Ricardo Carvalho’s groin.

 

The dismissal was immediately compared to captain David Beckham’s in the 1998 World Cup which was followed by a year of vicious abuse on his return to England.

 

"I think that you, much more than me, need Wayne Rooney," said Eriksson. "He is the golden boy of English football, so don't kill him.

 

"If he did it with intention or not, leave it -- you need him for the qualification games and to win Euro 2008. I have no hard feelings."

 

The scoreboard at Wimbledon
says it all

Eriksson revealed he had spoken to Argentinean referee Horacio Elizondo after the game and was satisfied with his decision.

  

"I spoke to Wayne after the game and he had no intention to do it," Eriksson said.

  

"I also went to the referee to speak and he was 100 percent sure it was a red card. He told me he hit the other player and where he was hit so I can't complain about that."