Roy Keane - A Great Footballer
There have been so many superlatives used to describe Roy Keane's ability and performances on the football pitch it is difficult to come up with an original commentary on his brilliance. Sometimes his commitment and will to win, almost at any cost, overshadowed the man's footballing ability. His style of play was very understated in some ways but there is no doubt that his ability to consistently pick and play the right pass, at the right time, with the right weight, to the right player was unmatched by any of his peers.
Before the ravages of his injuries caught up with him his stamina, athleticism, his soccer skills, and one of the sharpest football brains, made him the most complete midfield player of his generation. No other playerhad the combination of footballing attributes that Roy Keane had. Certainly none of his peers achieved the same levels of relentless consistency that he managed throughout his career.The following is a range of views expressed by a wide variety of players, mangers and football pundits on Keane's soccer prowess:
Steve Bruce on Roy Keane
|I'm not sure whom he [Sir Alex Ferguson] regards as his best-ever signing at Old Trafford but there can't have been one better than Keano. |
Sir Alex Ferguson talking to Sky Sports in 2004
|"He is my best player. It's not just the quality of his game, it is also his influence and great determination. There are a lot of parts to making a great player - he has fulfilled them all." |
Sir Alex Ferguson - February 2005
|"When you are talking about Manchester United 30 or 500 years from now, Roy Keane will be regarded as one of the greatest players ever at this club" |
Former Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy
|"Roy will always be remembered as the greatest player who's played for the club. His leadership and quality of play and his character will always be within us, because I worked with him and trained with him for four and a half years and he was the best player I ever played with ..." |
David Beckham talking to PA Sport on Keane's departure from Manchester United
|He is a player who will lead from the front and get a team going. He is also a player who will tell you when you have done something wrong and something right. You know where you stand with him, he'll tell you in his own special way. I think he had one of the biggest impacts on a club anyone could have. The players responded to him in every game. I am shocked he has left because I thought he would be there for a few more years, but he has made his decision and everyone will respect that. People now have to look at what he has done with Manchester United because in the last 12 years he has won everything there is to win in club football. He has done it, gaining respect from so many players that he has played with and against. |
Former midfield adversary and ex-Arsenal player Patrick Viera in December 2008 when asked name the best player he ever played against
|"For me, being in England for nine years, I would have said Roy Keane. (He) is really tough, really strong, but he was fair. "What I like about him is the fact that he would not talk, he would take the kick, he would not say anything, then, on the next one, he would give it to you and he would expect, of course, that you say nothing. "He's not the kind of player who talks a lot. So he'll take the kick, he will give back, but I like him - he's quite fair." |
Former Manchester United and England legend Bobby Charlton compared Roy Keane to Duncan Edwards who had been tragically killed in the Munich air disaster. Bobby Charlton believed that Duncan Edwards was even better than the great Pele.
|"...as a player and a competitor [Keane is] the nearest I've seen in my lifetime to Duncan Edwards" |
Former Arsenal and French international footballer Thierry Henry had this to say about Roy Keane.
|"...he is a super footballer. He scores, he influences his team and the crowd. He'll be respected for ever. He is a football legend with the Republic of Ireland and Manchester United." |
Former Liverpool FC great and BBC soccer pundit Alan Hansen described Roy Keane as follows:
|"[Keane] was in a class of his own in his peak...the best player the Premiership has seen." |
This what Sir Alex Ferguson had to say in his autobiography about Roy Keane's performance in the 1999 second leg of the Champions League semi-final in Turin.
|"I did not think I could have a higher opinion of any footballer than I already had of the Irishman but he rose even further in my estimation at the Stadio Delle Alpi. The minute he was booked and out of the final, he seemed to redouble his efforts to get the team there. It was the most emphatic display of selflessness I have seen on a football field. Pounding over every blade of grass, competing as if he would rather die of exhaustion than lose, he inspired all around him. I felt it was an honour to be associated with such a player." |
Andy Gray made the following comments following the 0-3 win by Manchester United over Juventus on 25 February 2003.
"I came away from Turin that night convinced that I would never see a better performance from an English club on foreign soil - or a more motivated display from a captain. But I was wrong. The performance in the Stadio Delle Alpi on Tuesday night was even more devastating than the one in 1999. And to complete a double over one of Europe's best sides was quite incredible. OK, United rode their luck a bit at times, but you always need a little bit of good fortune when you take on Juventus in Turin. Keane, in a different way to 1999, gave another master class in leadership. His example seemed to rub off on the other players and they all looked relaxed and confident playing on one of the biggest stages in world football."
Former Manchester United collleague and Dutch international Jaap Stam had this to say in his autobiography about Keane.
|"Keane is an incredible player, a real one-off whose name would be the first on the team-sheet of any side. It's not just the fact that he wins every tackle, or the way he can drive a team on with his powerful running, and snappy passing; with Roy there's something more, a desperation to win that drags the whole team with him" |
Roy Keane & Cork
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