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Laura Woods opens up on Roy Keane's off-air feelings towards Lionel Messi, it's the ultimate sign of respect

Adnan Riaz

| Last updated 

Laura Woods opens up on Roy Keane's off-air feelings towards Lionel Messi, it's the ultimate sign of respect

Laura Woods has shared Roy Keane’s off-air feelings on Argentina star Lionel Messi after the Manchester United legend clashed with Graeme Souness on ITV.

Messi, who is believed to be competing at his final World Cup, has helped fire his side to the quarter-finals after a shock start to their campaign in Qatar.

Argentina suffered a humiliating 2-1 defeat to Saudi Araba in their Group C opener, despite Messi opening the scoring from the spot-kick at the Lusail Stadium.

But Lionel Scaloni’s men bounced back with a 2-0 win over Mexico before sweeping Poland aside with another 2-0 victory, as Argentina finished top of Group C.


Argentina then went on to beat Australia 2-1 in the last 16 at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium to set up a quarter-final clash with the Netherlands.

Leandro Paredes was brought down during the opening 10 minutes against Saudi Araba and was awarded a penalty by referee Slavko Vincic.

Messi, who has scored three times in four appearances in this World Cup, stepped up and effortlessly converted the penalty past Mohammed Al-Owais.

Keane was furious with the referee’s decision and disagreed with fellow ITV pundit Souness, who believed that the referee made the right call over the penalty.

Woods was in studio when Keane and Souness locked horns in a heated debate over the penalty decision on ITV.

The talkSPORT presenter revealed that former United captain Keane channelled his inner David Attenborough with his off-air analysis of Messi.

“But there’s other moments as well, that people at home don’t see. This is where privilege comes in,” Woods told The Daily Mail.

“I’d told Roy I’d never seen him [Messi] play in real life.

“Roy said: ‘Just watch Messi for a minute… It looks like he’s not interested and he’s just walking around when everybody else is running. But he knows where everyone is. He knows where the ball is and he reads the game like no-one else reads it.’

“As we were watching, the ball’s played through and Messi makes a run and scores.

“It was offside, the one where his shoulder was just slightly offside, but the kind of poetry of it, where Roy Keane is almost… it was almost like he was narrating like David Attenborough.”


Speaking on her opportunity to cover the World Cup in Qatar, Woods added: “For a very long period, I sat there like a fan.

“I just watched and I couldn’t believe it, experiencing what everybody else at home is experiencing when they watch it.

“You think: ‘What is happening? How amazing is this?’ I looked at Joe at one point and we were in disbelief. So I said: ‘And what about you, Joe?’

“Joe’s always got an opinion but his voice is as quiet as I’ve ever heard him and he says sheepishly: ‘I thought it was a penalty…’ It was just brilliant!”

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Laura Woods, Roy Keane, Lionel Messi, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Football World Cup, Football

Adnan Riaz
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