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Micah Richards Explains Why Roy Keane Isn't Football's Ultimate Hardman

Micah Richards Explains Why Roy Keane Isn't Football's Ultimate Hardman

Micah Richards has explained that Roy Keane "let him down" when it came to the ultimate football hardman debate.

The completely opposite pair have become beloved pundits on screen for Sky Sports, with Richards even managing to make the no-nonsense Keane smile and laugh.

However, Keane only ranks in fifth on the toughest players list compiled by Richards, Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer on the Match of the Day podcast.

Image: PA
Image: PA
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Working with him hasn't ruined that illusion, but Richards' mind up was made up when he saw Keane back away from former Everton striker Duncan Ferguson.

"I watched some videos because a couple of these are before my time and the reason why he slipped down to number five is because of Duncan Ferguson," Richards said.

"I was watching clips of Duncan and both Jaap Stam and Roy Keane walked away from a confrontation [with Ferguson].

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"I was like, 'how hard are you really then?' Everyone did [walk away from Ferguson]. He's the ultimate hard man because nobody wants smoke with him.

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"Roy Keane let me down, to be honest, because everybody talks about him as a hard man.

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"He's nice with me [in their roles as Sky Sports pundits]. You guys [Lineker and Shearer] are legends of the game and Roy is in that category.

"So when you have to work with him, you've got respect. I love working with him. I couldn't compete with him as a player, with medals, but I can make him uncomfortable on camera."

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Ferguson, incidentally, was named as the ultimate hardman by both Richards and Shearer, having been sent off a joint-record eight teams in his career.

Keane would go toe-to-toe with most players but even he admitted he didn't fancy it with the Everton legend.

Image: PA
Image: PA

"I used to stay away from him," Keane once said talking about Ferguson in 2014.

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"We're talking about characters earlier and he's certainly that.

"He was a top, top player and he's obviously been promoted up the last two or three weeks to work with the first-team and no doubt the strikers at Everton will learn a lot from him."

Topics: Micah Richards, Football, Roy Keane

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Josh Lawless

Josh is a sports journalist who specialises in football and wrestling. He has been published by Curzon Ashton FC, Late Tackle, Manchester City FC, The Mirror, Read Man City and Manchester Evening News. He provides coverage of professional wrestling and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the field - including the first UK interview with The Hardy Boyz after their return to WWE. He has never sported a pair of Lonsdale Slip-ons, contrary to reports.