Football

Keane and Vieira regularly went to war at the top of the Premier League.

Roy Keane writes glowing tribute to Patrick Vieira

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It was a personal battle that inspired arguably the greatest Premier League rivalry.

However; Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira are seemingly no longer sworn enemies after the Irishman agreed to write a glowing tribute for his former foe.

On Saturday evening the Football Writers' Association will celebrate Vieira's Premier League career at the Savoy in London, with Keane apparently more than happy to write a few words in praise of the Frenchman.

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As players, both of the central midfielders were fiercely competitive, always committed and never willing to shirk the physical challenge culminating in some of the Premier League's most iconic moments.

Over nine seasons Keane and Vieira regularly went toe to toe as Arsenal and Manchester United, in unison, dominated the Premier League until Jose Mourinho's arrival.

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The most infamous of their encounters came in their final Premier League clash in February 2005. Angered by United's physical approach to dealing with Jose Antonio Reyes during the corresponding fixture earlier in the season, Vieira assured United right-back Gary Neville prior to kick-off, that he wouldn't get away with similar tactics again.

Never one to avoid confrontation Keane stepped in, creating an unforgettable scene in the Highbury tunnel. 

During his 12 years at Old Trafford, Keane helped United to seven Premier League titles - four as captain - whilst his performance against Juventus in the Champions League semi-final is still regarded as one of the finest individual efforts in the competition's prestigious history.

Vieira was equally influential at Highbury, winning three league titles - the last of which as captain  when Arsenal went unbeaten for the entire season in 2003/4 - and four FA Cups as Arsene Wenger's side became the first team to consistently challenge Sir Alex Ferguson.

Vieira also made headlines recently for selecting Mourinho, rather than Wenger, as the most influential manager he played under.

Who do you think was the better player: Keane or Vieira? Give us your choice in the comment box below!

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Topics:
Arsenal
Thierry Henry
Football
Manchester United

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