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Roy Keane's Former Teammate Says He Wanted To "Hurt" Him During Matches

Roy Keane's Former Teammate Says He Wanted To "Hurt" Him During Matches

Jason McAteer has opened up about his intense rivalry with former Republic of Ireland teammate Roy Keane, claiming that he wanted to "smash" and "hurt" him during games.

The 49-year-old, who most famously played for Liverpool in the mid-late 90's, has been embroiled in a feud with the former Manchester United captain for a number of years.

It all began when McAteer was critical over Keane's decision to walk out on his country on the eve of the 2002 World Cup.

The pair were then embroiled in an infamous bust-up during a match between Manchester United and Sunderland in the same year.

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McAteer has never shied away from giving his thoughts on Keane and last year, he slated the former United and Celtic midfielder for ridiculing Jon Walters.

Now, he has once again given his brutally honest thoughts on The One Last Match podcast.

"Sometimes you play against fellow (countrymen) like for Leeds I'd play against Ian Harte, I'd never think I'd want to smash him,' McAteer said.

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"He was on the left, I was on the right, it was always a battle. But it was fair, we'd hug each other at the beginning and hug each other at the end.

"If there was any words said, which very rarely there wouldn't be, we got on with it.

"But with Roy, you'd want to smash him, you'd want to hurt him. You wouldn't pick him up. You'd have words, you'd mean it, you wouldn't shake his hand at the end of the game. It's how it was."

Image: PA
Image: PA
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McAteer did, however, have some sympathy for Keane after he missed out on the World Cup in 2002 following a bust-up with manager Mick McCarthy.

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"I'm quite sad about it. I'll be completely honest. I am actually gutted for him that he missed that competition." he said.

"He was arguably the best midfielder in the world at the time and he was going to a tournament that was actually wide open.

"I'm not saying we would have gone on to win it but we got knocked out on pens by Spain, we missed a pen in normal time and I just think having him on the pitch would have been that little bit more we needed to get through.

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"We plotted our way to the semi-finals at one point. We would have played South Korea, then Germany and we didn't fear them. Having Roy there in the moment he was in would have enhanced the team and made us better."

Image: PA
Image: PA
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McAteer continued in the podcast, saying: "Roy lives by his decisions. He a reason to go home, he made his point, he stood by it and his decision was "I am going home".

"He will stand by that now and he will be right. That's the thing with Roy, he's right.

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"I personally think he should have bit his lip, there's a time and a place for a debrief, we get his argument and the situation, we understand where he's coming from but let's get on with it.

"Can it for a month, can it for three weeks and do it when you get back. I really regret that he went home.

"He missed out on a World Cup in a moment when he was one of the best centre midfielders in the world and I am gutted for him."

Image: PA
Image: PA

Thoughts on McAteer's recent comments about Keane?

Let us know in the comments.

Topics: Liverpool, Football News, Football, Manchester United, International Football, Republic Of Ireland, Roy Keane

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Jack Kenmare

Jack Kenmare is a writer at SPORTbible. He's interviewed some of the biggest names in sport, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Pele, Carles Puyol and Tim Henman. He dabbles in all things sport but football is his biggest passion. He was once hit in the head by a wayward strike from Nicky Butt and lived to tell the tale.