"But in the games we were terrible really and we just didn't get going in the tournament."
And the pressure of being built up ahead of South Africa
"I don't think so. There is always pressure on us all. The media build the team up so much that, if we don't win it, there's always going to be disappointment, but we weren't good enough.
"People say that the players don't care, but the players that were there all seemed to care and it does hurt."
On the fans booing in Cape Town...
"Of course you feel sorry for the fans. It's all the emotion of not doing well, but for the players, when you have fans booing after ten minutes -- that's what I was saying.
"You can understand it in the last ten minutes, from the first ten minutes? That's disappointing because, if the fans are behind us 100 per cent and giving you the atmosphere to kick things on, that can really help you.
On what United team-mate Ronaldo said to him during the 2006 quarter-final and did he want Rooney sent off...
"I'm sure he did, but I would have wanted him off the pitch too because he could have won the game for Portugal.
"I remember Gary Neville tackling him in the game and he didn't seem to touch him, but Cristiano went down and I went up to the ref and said, 'He's diving, give him a yellow card.'
"Nobody really saw that, but everybody saw mine because it was a red card.
On almost leaving Old Trafford...
"Obviously, towards the end when it all came out, it did look like it had gone too far.
"I went in to see the manager and David Gill and explained (my reasons) and basically asked for answers really.
"But looking back now, it really was nothing to do with me. I just wanted to make sure that signing was the right thing to do and I got the answers in the end. But it was probably wrong of me to do that. I'm just glad it got sorted and it is all over now.
On the fans turning up at his house...
"They came round to my house and, when I looked out, I think they wanted me to invite them in. I can understand that they wanted answers.
On his recent loss of form...
"I want to score in every game and win things. That's the most important thing. I've done well since I came back and I know I will score goals again -- I've no worries about that.
Is it over now?
"I hope so. I'm signed here until I'm 30 now, so I'm hoping I can stay here. I doubt I can do what Scholesy and Giggs have done because I don't think I have the right body to play so long.
On joining United...
"I'm a confident person and, when United came in for me, I felt I could do well there. When I was a young lad, United obviously lost to Everton in the FA Cup final in 95.
"I've always loved the way that United played, the attacking football, so once I knew that United wanted to sign me, I already had an interest in the team and the club."
And his career highlight?
"Winning my first title medal. Growing up, watching the Premier League as far back as I can remember, feeling the trophy and having the medal around my neck was an unbelievable feeling.
"When I was younger, I was a ballboy for Everton for four years, so I was always close to the pitch. So to win the league and lift the trophy was an unbelievable feeling.
On his determination to play every game...
"I think the manager likes that because, as a player, I want to play and train all the time. Some players don't like training and I've seen some players who aren't bothered if they play or not.
"But I want to play every game. Sometimes you have to rest in certain games, but I want to play in every game.
"Probably every player here is an international and that's why the manager is probably the best. In other teams, players who aren't playing might start saying that they want to leave, but we haven't seen that at United.
"Over the last two-three years, the manager has changed the team around a lot, so there are always opportunities to play.
"You can see sometimes in his team talks, when he has left players out, you can only imagine how difficult it is him. Especially in cup finals and games like that.
"Having to tell a player he isn't playing or not involved, can't be easy.
"If you're not playing, he will probably pull you to one side or speak to you in the pre-match hotel. He will give you some reason why he is resting you, but it's fair for the players.
"You try not to make eye contact with him on the morning of the match, especially if he is walking up to you. I try to get away from him. You are always looking around to try to see which players he has pulled aside.
On his childhood hero...
"I loved Duncan Ferguson, just because of the passion he showed for playing football. I'm sure he was a handful to play against.
"I was lucky enough to play with him as well and he was probably the one I wanted to go and watch all the time.
"I remember when he was sent to jail because I used to write to him. I got home from school once and there was letter waiting for me, from Duncan.
And the jokers in the United dressing room...
"Patrice [Evra] always likes to wind people up and Bebe, although his English isn't great, tries to take the mickey too. This club is so good for foreign players to come because the atmosphere in the dressing room is brilliant.
"It must be so easy for the foreign lads to be a part of it."
On whether Ronaldo is missed...
"As a person, he was a lovely fella and got on with everyone in the club. In that way you miss him. Football-wise it speaks for itself.
"Him and Messi are the two stand out players. I still can't believe he wasn't nominated in the top three for World Player after the last two years he's had."
On pre-match rituals...
"I always go into the physio room after the warm-up and pray. That's about it really. I'm quite relaxed. Listen to a bit of music.
And have the prayers been answered?
"It's been brilliant. I've been lucky to win three Premier League, the Champions League, two Carling Cups.
"I'm hoping we can win more and I can try and get close to what Giggs, Scholes and Gaz have achieved.
And on Evra's music tastes...
"Yeah, that's why I wear my own Ipod. Some of it's not too bad, but some of it doesn't really get me ready for the game.
On Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Perry Como...
"I actually like them singers. Growing up in my nan's house, my grandad used to listen to Perry Como all the time. That was one of the songs at my grandad's funeral.
"I went to watch Jersey Boys, the Four Seasons, Frankie Valli. It was the best show I've ever seen, brilliant.
And his musical tastes...
"Patrice likes R&B, a bit of reggae. That's not really my thing.
"Susan Boyle, yes. I like to relax before a game. Her voice is amazing - it relaxes me before a game. I get a massage while listening to it.
"Different players have different things to prepare. It's not always Susan Boyle. I just need something relaxing before I go out and do my warm up."
Rooney on privacy...
"Since I've come to United I've never had a real holiday. Everywhere there's press, people say how big United is around the world.
"When I signed for United we went out to Asia and I was literally locked in my room. You open the door and there's fans there. You see how big the club is.
"I love Barbados, it's really relaxing."
How Coleen has dealt with the intrusions...
"It was weird for her at first. She was still at school when we started dating.
"When we went on our first holiday, there were pictures in the paper. For a young girl that first picture she always wanted to dress up and look good.
"From then on we've got used to it.
"I hate it [the intrusion] I wouldn't wish it on anyone.
"I signed my new deal and went off to Dubai, a lot of people were saying why has he gone on holiday for a week.
"I spoke with the physios and he wanted me to do nothing for 10 days. Other players have done it but it doesn't get in the press.
"I went to the manager and said I had to do nothing for 10 days so could I get away for a week. He said fine, so I went.
"There were 10 reporters kicked out of the hotel. They were sat on sunbeds next to us, they had holes in their newspapers, pretending to read them and taking pictures. It was a horrible time."
And your son Kai?
"We get offered a lot of money to put pictures in magazines but we said it wouldn't be fair on him, we wanted him to live his own life, make his own decisions.
"Wrote to all magazines and newspapers and asked them to not print any pictures. They turned round and said 'if you walk round Old Trafford with him on the last day, we're allowed to print it cos you're parading him, so we're allowed to print it'.
"But i didn't want it to pass by and for him not to have that experience. I know I need to be careful, I've changed the way I live my life."
And after your playing career...
"I've started doing my coaching badges, I'd like to be a manager one day.
"There's a lot of ex-United players, you see the players who have played under Sir Alex and have gone on to be good managers.
"I'm hoping I can do that. But I wouldn't like to follow this manager.
"I wouldn't like to start at an Everton or a Man United. I'd rather start by going down and learning something about the lower leagues.
"Try and build a reputation rather than just jumping in at the top. It's only fair. I don't think it's fair if a manager gets a big job with no experience."
And the hoodies turning up at his house...
"There was no harm done. I looked out and there was about 30 there all with hoods up. With my wife and kid in the house it was just a bit intimidating, but it got calmed down.
"That night I'd spoken with the Glazers, the manager and David Gill. They called me to speak to me and just said the club was going to carry on moving forward and being successful.
"From there I phoned my agent and organised a meeting with David Gill. Then I went training the next day and it took two hours to negotiate it.
"I understand many of the fans will have been disappointed and felt let down. I felt it was such a big moment in my career. I had to get it right.
"Now I understand. I've seen players leave this club.
"My wife will support me no matter where I went. We go to Liverpool four times a week so she's delighted I've stayed because we're close to our families. I don't think she'd have fancied going a long way.
"I didn't even think about where I'd go. People said I was odds on to go to Man City. That was never the case.
"There was no way I'd have gone there anyway.
"Liverpool? There was more chance of me going to City than there. They were the two I wouldn't have been going to.
"I had to get it right, it was a big time in my career, thankfully it's been sorted out now.
"I know I've made the right decision. I've made myself happy."