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Cristiano Ronaldo believes becoming a Premier League hate figure helped him mature as a player.

The Portugal international became public enemy number one in England for his role in Wayne Rooney's sending off at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

Although Rooney and Ronaldo patched up their differences back at Old Trafford, the winger was constantly under fire in United's away games.

The former Sporting ace believes the negative attention only served to help him mature and grow as a player.

"After the match I was criticised and whistled at," said Ronaldo.

"It was not very pleasant but it did me some good. With this I grew wiser and it helped me mature.

"Rooney is a good friend, alongside him it is a pleasure and honour to play."
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