Ronnie O’Sullivan relishing potential Crucible clash saying he got ‘turned on’ by what Iranian rival said about him
RONNIE O’SULLIVAN is relishing a potential clash with Hossein Vafaei in the second round of the World Snooker Championship.
The seven-time winner beat Pang Junxu 10-7 in the opening round on Saturday.
And he will face the winner of Ding Junhui vs Vafaei, a man who has criticised him in the past.
The Iranian accused O’Sullivan of lacking respect and suggested he ought to retire to allow younger players more opportunities.
The Rocket, 47, revealed he loved the criticism and claimed Vafaei telling him to retire fired him up.
O’Sullivan said on Eurosport: “Hossein Vafaei, the man who said…what did he say about me, I can’t remember?’
Alan McManus replied: “I think he said you should retire.”
The Rocket quickly hit back, saying: “Has he been saying much this year? I think he’s learned to be quiet. Don’t rattle my cage!
“I’m just having fun. I love it when they call me out, I love it when they give me stick, I love it, it turns me on, I get off on it.
“I need it to fire me up so I’m hoping someone says something, so I can have a reason to perform. But they’re not going to say it now, they probably realise it’s not a good tactic.”
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The bickering between the pair was sparked after O’Sullivan suggested he would not encourage his kids to take up the sport as for many playing snooker is “a waste of life”.
Four-time world champion John Higgins also criticised O’Sullivan over the comments, labelling him a “disgrace”.