Portugal skipper Cristiano Ronaldo has cited his relationship with Wayne Rooney as the main reason he would enjoy to face England in Euro 2016.
Ronaldo, a former team-mate of Rooney's at Manchester United, heaped praise on the England captain ahead of the European Championship, saying it is no surprise that the 30-year-old striker was handed the honour of leading the Three Lions.
Drama abounded on the previous two occasions – prior to Friday's friendly – that the two faced each other on the international stage. Both matches resulted in England's elimination of a major tournament, Euro 2004 and the 2006 World Cup.
In the latter match Rooney was sent off for stamping on Ricardo Carvalho, his departure from the field accompanied by a knowing wink from a satisfied-looking Ronaldo.
The two players were quick to forgive and forget, but a competitive match between them would make for a mouthwatering contest regardless.
"A match against England would be very emotive for me – because of Wayne Rooney and because of many other things too. Roo is now a leader and that's not a surprise," the Real Madrid ace told The Mirror.
"I was always convinced that he would be a star for England and, inevitably, captain one day. It's a perfect role for him after the era of Beckham and Terry. For me, the character and pride of Rooney is unique – he's still very important for England."
Ronaldo went on to talk up England's chances in the tournament, saying: "For me, England always have a chance to do well in big tournaments and this time they are arriving in France with some interesting young players who have a big future.
"The connection in the team and the team spirit looks positive. Both Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane have scored a lot of goals and had success this year too."