Roy Keane has revealed the players that gave him the biggest battles.
Keane and Vieira will go down in history as one of the greatest rivalries in Premier League history, when Manchester United and Arsenal were going toe-to-toe for the title.
Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira fight in tunnel at Highbury 😂🙈 pic.twitter.com/PyGGUxsaZG
— Funny Footy Quotes (@FunFootyQuote) September 9, 2017
Speaking to Sky Sports the Irishman said: “It was a big challenge for me when Patrick came onto the scene. He was a good player and I knew I had to be at my best when I was up against him. He was nasty, he could put his foot in and he could score a goal.”
“Patrick would’ve been my toughest opponent at the time. He would challenge you in different ways. He would get around the pitch, he was good with the ball, he was strong, and he had a goal in him. I knew I had to be at my very, very best to get on top of Patrick.”
Keane then went onto to praise some other Premier League legends that gave him a tough day at the office.
“He (Vieira) wasn’t the only one though. Back in those days, every week in the Premiership you were in for a battle: David Batty was tough; Gary Speed, God rest his soul, he was tough; Rob Lee up at Newcastle – you knew you were in a game against these fellas.”
He then took it further afield and continued: “The greatest I faced in Europe? Undoubtedly (Zinedine) Zidane. He had everything – but he was nasty with it too. Batty, Speed, they were nasty too, they’d give you a kick, a real battle; I just gave back as good as I got!
“But there was a respect towards Patrick. It was the same with the lads coming through. I go back to Steven Gerrard and the Frank Lampard.
“You had to be at your best. I had huge respect for him, but I knew if I could win my battle it would give us a better chance of winning the game.”