The High Court heard that Wayne Rooney was instructed by then-England manager Roy Hodgson to persuade his teammate Jamie Vardy to ask his wife to “calm down.”
Rebekah Vardy, who rejects Mrs Rooney’s claim that she revealed sensitive information about her, is suing Mr Rooney’s wife Coleen for libel.
Mr. Rooney stated on Tuesday that Mr. Hodgson informed him that the Football Association (FA) wants to prevent “problems and distractions” at Euro 2016.
Mr Vardy appeared in court on the sixth day.
“They asked me, as captain, would I be able to speak to Mr Vardy on issues regarding his wife and I think we all knew that it was an awkward subject,” said Mr Rooney, referring to Mr Hodgson and his then assistant Gary Neville.
“I’d need to speak to Mr Vardy and ask him to speak to his wife and ask him to ask his wife to calm down.”
“Ask his wife to calm down?” queried Mrs Vardy’s barrister Hugh Tomlinson. “She wasn’t dancing on tables…”
“No, she wasn’t, as far as I’m aware,” Mr Rooney replied. But, he said, there had been negative media coverage relating to Mrs Vardy’s Euro 2016 column in the Sun.
England’s all-time leading scorer claimed he “carried out that directive” to speak with his teammate and that it was Mr Vardy’s decision whether or not the message was delivered to Mrs Vardy.
He said it “wasn’t my place to speak to Mrs Vardy” directly but that he had “100%” passed the message on to his teammate.
“It was an awkward situation for me and I’m sure it was an awkward situation for Mr Vardy, but I felt it was in the best interests of the team,” Mr Rooney said.
“As England captain I would always try and protect the players in public as much as I could,” he continued.
Mrs Vardy was “almost there with the team,” according to Mr Rooney, during the competition in France.
He said she was using FaceTime to contact her spouse as the players were hanging out together during their break.
Mr Rooney, a former England men’s football team captain, adding that Mrs Vardy’s husband, Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, was not someone “I have ever particularly been friends with on a social level”.
Mr Rooney, manager of Derby County, wrote in The Times last year that despite their wives’ feud, he would have sought to entice Mr Vardy, 35, out of international retirement for Euro 2020 if he had been in charge.