Roy Keane may find himself in a slightly uncomfortable position in his role as a pundit at times next season following Erling Haaland’s move to Manchester City.
The Manchester United legend famously injured Haaland’s father, Alfie, with one of the worst challenges in Premier League history.
Keane exacted brutal revenge on Haaland, four years after an incident in September 1997, when the pair clashed at Elland Road.
Keane injured his anterior cruciate ligament after tripping up following a coming together with Haaland, who’d only just joined Leeds from Nottingham Forest, and missed most of the 1997-98 campaign as a result.
Haaland was seen shouting something at Keane while the United skipper was on the floor – and the Irishman never forgot or forgave the Norwegian midfielder.
In April 2001, Keane received a £5,000 fine and three-match ban for an appalling tackle on Haaland, who was playing for Man City by this point.
“I’d waited long enough. I f***ing hit him hard. The ball was there (I think). Take that you c***,” Keane recalled in his 2002 autobiography, per The Guardian. “And don’t ever stand over me again sneering about fake injuries. And tell your pal [David] Wetherall there’s some for him as well. I didn’t wait for Mr Elleray to show the red card. I turned and walked to the dressing room.”
Keane subsequently received a further five-game ban, plus a £150,000 fine, from the Football Association for that admission.
Alfie Haaland discusses incidents with Roy Keane
But how does Alfie Haaland view the incident when looking back?
An interview from when Erling was still at Molde, working under Keane’s former United teammate Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, has emerged and it shows Alfie reflecting about the incident that eventually led to the end of his professional career.
Going back to the initial incident at Elland Road, Haaland said: “He tried to tackle me and I got the free-kick. He was lying on the ground and I just told him to ‘get up’ as you normally do with players – nothing more than that. I wasn’t trying to intend anything against him, but obviously he took that very hard.”
And about that ill-fated day at Old Trafford in 2001, Haaland added: “For eight years, I wasn’t injured. Coincidence or not, that was my last 90 minutes in England. Is that a coincidence, or isn’t it?
“If you’re in the ground and someone hits you in the right leg, you can still twist your other leg. It can get injured and that’s probably what happened.
“I haven’t played a full 90 minutes after that incident, that’s the hard fact. And people can judge whatever they want.
“Obviously I found out afterwards that it was with intent and he was seeking revenge and all these things. I think that’s a bit sad. Sad for football and it was not good for me either at the time.”
Watch the clip in full here:
Keane, who currently works as a pundit for Sky Sports, will be providing analysis on Haaland’s superstar son Erling next season.
Following in his father’s footsteps, Erling Haaland has the potential to become one of the greatest forwards of all time and now begins the next chapter of his career working under Pep Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium.