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ROY KEANE is never one to back down in an argument.
The Irishman has gone from midfield hardman, to bearded boss, to TV executioner over the last few decades.
Roy Keane has never been afraid of confrontationCredit: Getty
Keane, 49, hasn’t lost any of his fire since becoming a punditCredit: Getty
But during all this time, he has never allowed any foe to have the last laugh.
And should he make a return to the dugout, Hoops fans must be ready for some explosive moments – just ask Alan Shearer or Jamie Redknapp.
So amid his links to Parkhead, let’s take a look at some of Keane’s most memorable bust-ups.
Keane took exception to Vieira ‘bullying’ Gary Neville
Keane and Vieira rarely saw eye to eye while their teams fought it out for Premier League titles.
And things really boiled over in the tunnel before their final clash at Highbury in February 2005 – when Keane felt that Vieira was trying to ‘bully’ Gary Neville.
Of the infamous incident, he wrote in his autobiography: “As I walked to the front I heard something going on at the top of the tunnel. All I could see was a few fingers, pointing at Gary. I lost it.
“Five seconds earlier I’d been perfectly calm, in the zone, ready for the match.
“They were trying to bully him. They were a big team and, in the tunnel, they were even bigger. So I said to myself ‘Alright, let’s go’.”
Keane threw a punch at Alan Shearer in 2001Credit: Getty
Shearer, himself certainly no shrinking violet, wound Keane up during a Newcastle – Man United clash in 2001.
The Geordie hero threw ‘some choice ‘words at the Red Devils skipper, who retaliated by trying to throw a punch at him – promptly being red carded.
Shearer later told The Athletic: “When the final whistle went, Roy was standing at the top of the stairs waiting for me.
“I’m pretty sure a few more choice words exchanged, there was some bustling and scrambling, but there were way too many people between us for anything physical to actually happen.”
But Keane himself later admitted: “I wish I had connected!”
Roy smirked after winding up Jurgen KloppCredit: Sky Sports
The German fumed: “He must have been watching a different game. Nothing was sloppy. This game was exceptional.”
Keane initially rowed back a little, replying: “I said there were sloppy moments, but I think you have been outstanding, I’ve been giving the club nothing but praise.”
But after Klopp had stormed back down the tunnel, Keane regained the glimmer in his eyes.
He then cheekily remarked: “Jesus. very sensitive, imagine if he’d lost.”
Keane showed no empathy after launching a horrifying challenge on Alf-Inge HaalandCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Alf-Inge Haaland was on the receiving end of almost undoubtedly the most controversial moment of Keane’s career.
Having been upset by Haaland’s accusation of faking an injury four years prior, the Man United midfielder decided to get his own back during a 2001 Manchester derby – with devastating consequences.
Initially only fined £5,000 and banned for three games, Keane then put his foot in it further a year later, by admitting that the challenge, which caused Haaland a significant injury, had been deliberate.
He wrote: “I’d waited long enough. I hit him hard. The ball was there (I think). Take that. And don’t ever stand over me sneering about fake injuries.”
The case was subsequently reopened, with Keane receiving a further fine of £150,000, as well being slapped with an extra five-game suspension.
Schmeichel and Keane didn’t always see eye to eyeCredit: EMPICS Sport
Roy Keane and Peter Schmeichel were two pioneers of Manchester United’s outstanding success throughout the 1990s.
But the two often didn’t see eye to eye.
So on one pre-season trip to Asia, the pair astonishingly decided to physically have it out – with team-mate Nicky Butt refereeing.
Keane revealed in his autobiography: “I think we were in Hong Kong. There was drink involved. He said: ‘I’ve had enough of you, It’s time we sorted this out.’ So I said ‘Okay’ and we had a fight. It felt like 10 minutes. There was a lot of noise – Peter’s a big lad.”
And he then went on to add: “Peter had grabbed me, I’d head-butted him – we’d been fighting for ages.”
Keane infamously walked out on Ireland at the 2002 World CupCredit: Sportsfile
Keane famously walked on out on his country during the 2002 World Cup.
Managed by McCarthy, the Republic of Ireland arrived in Saipan to set up base ahead of the Japan and South Korea hosted tournament.
Keane was quickly in a foul mood, ripping into the facilities and labelling their practice pitch as ‘like a car park’.
McCarthy initially convinced his key man to stay, only for Keane to subsequently lay into him in front of the rest of the squad.
He was then sent home in disgrace, but did return to international action two years later under McCarthy’s successor Brian Kerr.
Redknapp and Keane went at it over the quality of Spurs’ ‘internationals’
Now a regular on Sky Sports, Keane is never afraid to get involved in a back-and-forth with any of his fellow pundits.
Micah Richards appears to have brought out a lighter side in the seven-time Premier League winner.
But the same cannot also be said for Jamie Redknapp.
The pair had a furious disagreement last month over the talent of Tottenham’s squad, with Redknapp refuting that Harry Kane and Son Heung-min are the North Londoners’ only top quality players.
Keane was dismissive of Redknapp’s case that Spurs are full of internationals, however, blasting: “Playing for your country doesn’t make you a good player. If you can trap the ball these days you can play for your country!”
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