Ruud van Nistelrooy says Roy Keane slaughtered him 'for four months' over his hair
| Last updated
Ruud van Nistelrooy says former Manchester United teammate Roy Keane 'killed him for four months' over his decision to wear a hairband – and it might the most Roy Keane story ever.
The 46-year-old, who is currently the manager of Eredivisie side PSV Eindhoven, was speaking to Gary Neville on the latest episode of The Overlap when he brought up the ruthless tale.
Van Nistelrooy joined United in 2001 for a club record £18.5 million and memorably went on to score 150 goals in 219 games during a prolific five-year spell at Old Trafford.
But it wasn't all fun and games for the Dutchman, who fell out with manager Sir Alex Ferguson before joining Real Madrid in the summer of 2006.
As well as his far-from-pleasant departure, Van Nistelrooy was hounded by club captain Roy Keane in his opening months as a United player because of, well, his decision to wear a headband.
“Roy with my hair band, remember that? He killed me for four months", said van Nistelrooy, who was speaking on The Overlap, in partnership with Sky Bet.
“Remember when I came I had longer hair… and I put it in in training and went to the dressing room with the mirrors and put the hairband in and he was like, ‘F****** hell.
“I’d actually had enough of it and I cut my hair… I thought after one month I wasn’t going to cut my hair for this guy. Two months, every day for two months and then after three months… I took my hair band off.”
As mentioned earlier, the former Netherlands forward endured a fractious relationship with the boss, Sir Alex Ferguson.
The final nail in the coffin was when he launched a verbal assault against Ferguson during the League Cup final against Wigan Athletic in Cardiff – a game they went on to win 4-0.
Van Nistelrooy touched on the incident during his recent chat with Gary Neville, saying: "Sir Alex Ferguson explained to me that I wasn’t going to start in the League Cup fnal because Louis Saha played in the other rounds, and it was fine with me.
“We were winning quite a bit in the final and he sent me out to warm-up, and then didn’t put me on. I sat down on the bench, and I said something to him whilst I was a bit angry, that I wasn’t going to be coming on – I snapped a bit.
“The comment and snap in that moment of a final – you cannot do it. But of course, emotions are there.”
The pair have since made up and Van Nistelrooy explained in the recent interview that 'nobody was too big' for Ferguson.
“I think Sir Alex Ferguson was very special with his consistency – you’re preparing yourself to perform not just over a season but the next game and the next game," he said.
For me it was so motivational and inspirational, the way he managed me as a person. He did that with everybody in a different way, and that made me feel special.
“It wasn’t nice [Ferguson’s hairdryer treatment], but deep down you knew he was right. It wasn’t for no reason – he was frustrated as he knew there was more to you. He did it with many players, in the dressing room with everyone to hear. He did it with Roy Keane and David Beckham – nobody was too big for it."
He added: “He was demanding the best out of every player – it always made me think that I had to step it up, which is what you need as a player. When you score four games in a row, you don’t want to feel good about yourself, but you do. He smelt that and he just smashed out any complacency from us.”
Featured Image Credit: The Overlap/YouTube - ITV
Topics: Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Gary Neville, Roy Keane, Manchester United