Ronaldo: England clash would be emotional

Colin Cowherd knows exactly how No. 3 Notre Dame and No. 12 Syracuse will end on Saturday

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."