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Van Nistelrooy blames poor World Cup on "s*** Man Utd period"

Real Madrid striker Ruud van Nistelrooy blames Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson for his woeful 2006 World Cup.

Van Nistelrooy endured a miserable tournament in Germany two years ago and is adamant his troubles at Old Trafford helped destroy his dreams.

A training-ground bust-up with Cristiano Ronaldo was followed by a bitter departure from United as boss Fergie flogged his star striker to Real Madrid - a move Van Nistelrooy believes ruined his chance on the big stage.

But after winning back-to-back La Liga titles at Real and coming out of international retirement, Van Nistelrooy is ready to take Austria and Switzerland by storm.

The Dutch master, 31, said: "I've never said I didn't want to play for the national team. Right now I'm far calmer than two years ago and that was because at United I was going through a s**t period.

"And at that time, with a big tournament, that was something I certainly didn't need. I tried hard to reject everything but it only worked to a certain extent.

"Then on top of that I had a conflict with Dutch coach Marco van Basten. Now I feel a lot better and I believe in our success."

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