Roy Keane, Manchester United legend and arguably the greatest midfielder to have played in the Premiership in the 90s (with due respect to Cantona), has announced his retirement from football.
When Keano left United in November, he had been unceremoniously shown to the door after being ‘too harsh’ on fellow United players in a MUTV interview that was pulled hours before going live. He signed for Celtic in January, a club he had supported and wanted to play for a long time.
Keane was plagued by injury problems during his last two years at United and in the last 6 months at Celtic – he cited his hip condition as the main reason for making his decision.
In some ways it is a fitting farewell to Keane. While he would have wanted to win more titles with United, especially the Champions League (he famously missed the 99 final after picking up a second booking in the semi-final and making sure that United progressed to Barcelona), he won the league title with Celtic and had a smashing testimonial played at Old Trafford in front of a record crowd. Keane played for Celtic in the first half and United in the second, and also set up the only goal of the match.
There is so much to say about the man – his exit from United, the final years when you could still see flashes of the old Keane, the United-Arsenal matches, his vicious tackles, his captaincy and most of all, his ability to turn the game in an instant. For a box-to-box midfielder, he was the best.
Roy Keane quotes:
“Having received advice from my surgeon and the Celtic doctor, my only option is to retire.”
“I would like to send the manager, staff, the players and the supporters of Celtic football club best wishes for the future.”
Gordan Strachan quotes:
“Roy Keane is one of the greatest-ever players to grace the game of football.”
United Rant has a more elaborate and informative tribute to Roy Keane – Make sure you read it.