Gerard Pique appeared in the latest episode of Gary Neville’s podcast ‘The Overlap’ earlier this week.
United were the dominant force in English football at the time and that was in no small part down to the high standards that the ferocious Irishman demanded both on and off the field for those that played under him at the club.
Keane snaps at Pique
In the episode, the iconic Spanish centre-back opened up to Neville about one run-in with Keane that he had as a 17-year-old, which left him frightened even seven years later.
Speaking on Gary Neville’s ‘The Overlap’ podcast, he said: “I just remember at that time when I was 17 with Roy, he was the captain, and he was strong always with a tough message. I think he was a great captain, but he was tough sometimes.
“That was Roy Keane. Now sometimes I see me and my teammates on a phone after a game, now things have changed a lot.
“That time, it was vibrating, and the guy could feel it in my head because it was in my pants (hanging down) in the dressing room. He stood up and said “who the f*** owns this phone?!
“I was like “OK, it’s me”. He just snapped at me!”
Pique meets Keane years later
The thought of Keane ripping into a young Pique, who almost certainly would have been at least six inches taller than him even then, is absolutely hilarious.
However, it’s understandable that Pique would have been intimidated by such a big personality – he was still a teenager after all.
The Spaniard returned to Barcelona aged 21 and has enjoyed a glittering career at Camp Nou.
But even after achieving outstanding success in Catalonia, when he bumped into Keane nearly a decade later, the fear-factor remained.
“A few years later we went with Barcelona to play Celtic and he was doing some kind of TV programme.”, he said.
“I was walking after the game and he came over to me to talk, and part of me was like that little kid that arrived in Manchester when I was 17 and thought ‘oh f***, Roy Keane is here!’
“I was like ‘come on Gerard, you’re already 24 or 25, come on man’.”
Don’t worry, Gerard. You weren’t the first grown man to be intimidated by Keano, and you most certainly won’t be the last.