Gerard Pique may have been away from English football for several years now, but the Spanish international has revealed that to this day he remains terrified of one of his notoriously frightening former Manchester United teammates.
Barcelona centre-back Pique originally left the Camp Nou for the Premier League in 2004 and spent four eventful years at Old Trafford before eventually making a heartfelt return to his former club after struggling to break the established defensive axis of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.
Many Manchester United players who have played for any period of time under the guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson have spoken about the Scot's famously short temper and often intimidating aura, however Pique has claimed he was far more petrified of another Red Devils legend than he ever was of his manager.
"I wouldn't say I was scared of [Sir Alex Ferguson]. Roy Keane? Well, maybe that's different!" he told FourFourTwo in an interview that was brought to our attention by Goal.
“I remember we were in the changing room at Old Trafford and my phone started vibrating. Keano could hear the vibrations and went crazy trying to find out who the phone belonged to. That’s who he was."
Having revealed his ongoing fear of the legendary Irish midfielder, Pique also recounted an amusing anecdote concerning an encounter with Keane that came following his departure from Manchester United.
"Before we [Barca] beat Celtic 1-0 last season, I noticed him by the side of the pitch as a pundit as we went to warm up. I hid my face with my hand because he still scares me. I was 26-years-old, and I was sh*tting myself," he added.
Such an admission from Pique certainly should not come as too much of a shock to Manchester United supporters.
The notoriously demanding Keane - who currently holds assistant manager roles with both Aston Villa and the Republic of Ireland - cultivated a formidable reputation during his stellar playing career and always appeared to demand nothing but the very best from his teammates at all times.
Despite having largely struggled to impose himself during his previous stint at Manchester United, the transfer mill has gone into overdrive in recent weeks hinting that Pique could be set to try his luck once again with the 20-time champions.
Spanish publication AS seemed to be at the heart of that intriguing speculation, inferring that the club were prepared to make all the necessary preparations to try and entice the £110,000-per-week defender back to English football.
Louis van Gaal's plans could well be destined to fail, however, with suggestions that Pique's girlfriend - Colombian pop sensation Shakira - is not so eager to move to Manchester.
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