Manchester : Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho issued thinly veiled criticism of England’s Football Association over the Wayne Rooney drinking controversy on Friday, likening them to careless schoolchildren.

Rooney, 31, apologised this week after being pictured looking the worse for wear as he mingled with guests during a late-night wedding party at the England team hotel last weekend.

British press reports claim Mourinho was angry with the FA for not supervising Rooney more closely and he appeared to suggest the striker could have been looked after more carefully.

“The only thing I say is that (when) the player goes to the national team, he belongs to the national team,” Mourinho said.

“I learnt since I was a kid, since school, if someone lends me something, I have to take care even better than if it was mine.

“You know? Your friend lent you a pencil. You have to take care of the pencil better than if it was your pencil.

“So I think when one day if I become a national team manager, I will try (to act like that).

“I am not saying that I will be successful on that, and I am not being critical with Gary (England interim manager Gareth Southgate) or anyone.

 “I get the occasion to wish Gary the best of luck, but I think you have to build something to protect what is not yours, what someone lends you.”

Rooney’s behaviour has prompted lively debate in British football circles this week and the matter is eing investigated by the FA.

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