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Roy Keane Snubs Patrick Vieira When Picking His Toughest Ever Opponent

Ryan Sidle

Published 

Roy Keane Snubs Patrick Vieira When Picking His Toughest Ever Opponent

Roy Keane has revealed that Patrick Vieira wasn't the toughest player he came up against, despite the pair's incredibly rivalry.

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When Keane and Vieira were at Manchester United and Arsenal, respectively, the two teams were constantly battling for the Premier League title.

Battle was also the word that best described their clashes on the pitch and the two midfielders epitomised that feeling.

Famously they clashed in the tunnel ahead of one game, after an incident involving Gary Neville, and on the pitch the challenges flew in.

Despite that however, Keane actually named one of Vieira's France teammates as the toughest opponent he ever came up against, naming Zinedine Zidane.

"Do you know why?" Keane asked Micah Richards in their 'Road to Wembley' series ahead of Euro 2020 earlier this summer.

"Honestly, still to this day people don't realise how big he was.

"When I played against him, I'm quite a small guy - I'm 5′ 10" and I'm really slight. People may think maybe I look bigger on the pitch...

"The best thing when I used to play against Zidane - at club level and I played against him for Ireland - the advice I would get from my friends in Ireland would be, 'just kick him!' That would be the technical advice.

"I used to say, 'he's 6′ 2″. He can deal with that!' I think he'd been sent off eight or nine times. What he was and what I loved about Zidane was that he was nasty."

Keane's most iconic performance, vs Juventus in the Champions League, came against Zidane. Image: PA Images
Keane's most iconic performance, vs Juventus in the Champions League, came against Zidane. Image: PA Images

Whilst some of Keane's hard man demeanour has recently been shattered by his on screen chemistry with Richards, it doesn't mean the Irishman's past doesn't show his mean side.

According to one former United youngster, the captain once sent a teammate home from training for arriving with the roof of his car down and blaring music.

Even senior players like Rio Ferdinand weren't safe from the legendary midfielder during his time at Old Trafford.

Everyone's always thought Keane and Vieira would have made a hell of a midfield partnership, but Keane and Zidane would have been incredible

Featured Image Credit: PA/Sky Sports

Topics: Football, Manchester United, Premier League, Zinedine Zidane, Arsenal, Roy Keane

Ryan Sidle
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