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Rooney admits stupidity - football world shocked

Those fans still nursing the belief that Wayne Rooney was one of football’s towering intellects were disabused of that notion – by the man himself. Rooney has admitted that he was stupid to get himself sent off against Montenegro, thus incurring a 3-match suspension for next summer’s European Championship finals.

There had been speculation that Rooney’s latest gaffe might lead to Fabio Capello excluding him from the squad altogether. Instead the coach and player met at Manchester United’s training ground, and the Italian assured Rooney that his place for the finals in Poland and Ukraine is secure. Well it’s not like England have many alternatives.

"It was stupid," Rooney said of his kick at Miodrag Dzudovic that provoked the red card. "I regretted it as soon as I did it. I honestly don't know why I did it. There was no tackle on me beforehand, so it wasn't retaliation."

The workings of the Rooney mind have baffled better managers than Capello. In the meantime, Rooney will be excluded from friendlies against Spain and Sweden, while Capello explores other options.

Rooney is still clinging on to some hopes that his suspension might be reduced on appeal. Dzudovic has generously written to UEFA in support of the Englishman, suggesting that a 3-match ban is too severe. "I thank him for that," Rooney said. "He didn’t have to do that."

One man who might be cheerful about the whole business is Sir Alex Ferguson. His star striker will enjoy a rest over the international break, and is also unlikely to be exerted overmuch in the summer.

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