Roy Keane is a law unto himself.
That’s not a criticism, by the way, because Keane’s no-nonsense and uncompromising methods almost certainly played a crucial role in his rise as one of British football’s finest ever leaders.
Keane’s no-nonsense style
You only have to look at the respect his former United teammates hold for him and the fear that he instilled in his old rivals to see just how formidable Keane was when he crossed the white line.
And that rule applied even before a ball had been kicked with the Irishman looking like he wasn’t to be messed with from the moment that the players lined up in the tunnel to take to the pitch.
You only have to ask Patrick Vieira to discover that Keane was more than willing to stand up for his teammates and intimidate his adversaries long before the first whistle had even sounded.
Inter Milan vs Man Utd in 1999
And one of the finest ways that Keane’s daunting persona on the pitch manifested itself was during a Champions League clash with Inter Milan during United’s famous treble-winning campaign.
Before the Red Devils could dream of glory with their dramatic comeback at the Camp Nou, they were making the intimidating trip to the San Siro for the second leg of their quarter-final tie.
United already had the contest under control after a 2-0 win at Old Trafford, but it quickly became apparent that Keane didn’t want to waste any time in getting the return leg underway in Italy.
Keane mugging off Ronaldo and Simeone
That’s because Keane produced one of his most amusingly ruthless moments in a United jersey during the traditional handshakes before kick-off by snubbing Diego Simeone and Ronaldo Nazario.
With both players still fiddling with their socks by the time that Keane reached them, the Red Devils skipper had no interest in waiting for them to finish and simply walked on without a handshake.
You know we said that Keane didn’t need the first whistle to get his game face on? Yeh, we really weren’t kidding you, so be sure to check out the equally hilarious and badass moment down below:
Pure, classic, vintage, trademark, typical Keane.
Keane had no time for reputations
It didn’t make the slightest bit of difference to Keane that one of the players he ignored was the world’s best striker at the time because the United man clearly, and fairly, had no time for reputations.
And it was the Irishman who had the last laugh with Paul Scholes’ late equaliser in Milan ensuring that United won 3-1 on aggregate, duly setting up a semi-final clash with Juventus.
The rest, as they say, is history with Keane proceeding to drop arguably his best ever performance for the Premier League giants during the 3-2 comeback against the ‘Old Lady’ in Turin.
There were no snubbed handshakes on that occasion, but it wasn’t to matter because the handles of the Champions League trophy – not Ronaldo or Simeone’s greetings – were in his hands come May.