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Roy Keane praised former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira for showing true leadership qualities as a player in his appearance as a pundit on Sky Sports' Super Sunday coverage.
Vieira is now the Crystal Palace head coach and oversaw his side recover from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Leicester City on Sunday, and Keane revealed how much he savoured his tussles with the Frenchman in central midfield.
"I had some good battles with Patrick; he was a very good player and there was a big rivalry between both clubs," Keane said. "Me and Patrick were in the middle of the park in what were important positions for our clubs.
"The beauty of when we played back then is that it was give and take. Players weren't rolling around too much and I some good battles with Patrick - a very good player."
Former Manchester United captain, Keane and ex-Arsenal skipper, Vieira led from the front as the two clubs battled for supremacy in English football during the late nineties and early noughties.
Arguably the most famous incident involving the pair came in the Highbury tunnel before the Red Devils overcame the Gunners with a 4-2 victory in north London, as Keane took issue with a comment that Vieira made to teammate Gary Neville.
"I don't think Patrick Vieira would have got in the Man Utd team..." :eyes:
Roy Keane looks back on his bitter rivalry with the Arsenal captain and what happened in *that* tunnel row
:tv: Watch Man Utd v Arsenal on Super Sunday from 4pm pic.twitter.com/EcclTMAV1n
- Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) November 1, 2020
Both players left the club in 2005, with Vieira going on to play for Juventus and Manchester City, while Keane moved north of the border for a brief stint at Celtic before hanging up his boots.
It was at Manchester City where a young Micah Richards played alongside Vieira, and the former England international said the France World Cup winner was his inspiration in his Super Sunday appearance alongside Keane.
"Without doubt, Patrick Vieira," he told Sky Sports.
"I met him when he came to Man City, I played with top midfielders, proper midfielders, not like the one next to me [Roy Keane], obviously I'm only joking."
:speaking_head:"I played with proper midfielders not the one next to me." @MicahRichards talks about his footballing idols pic.twitter.com/kijj6NkLd1
- Football Daily (@footballdaily) October 3, 2021
The truth is that there's no midfielders in the premier league at the minute that are anywhere near Keane or Vieira's level.
Both of them had absolutely everything. https://t.co/jlFQwnPIfv
- Rory (@RDuffy16) October 4, 2021
Richards and Vieira were at City together for two seasons, with both players both of the squad that won the 2011 FA Cup - the club's first major trophy success in 35 years.
While Richards is now offering his opinions on the game to Sky Sports, Vieira's focus now lies firmly in south London, and the Palace boss will turn his attention to a match away at former club Arsenal after the international break on 18th October.
Words by James Hilsum.
Featured Image Credit: Sky Sports
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