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Roy Keane’s fiery rivalry with Patrick Vieira is the stuff of legend in the Premier League – and it is still going strong to this day.
The former Manchester United and Arsenal midfielders were known to swap insults off the pitch before clashing on it during their clubs’ heydays under Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger.
Keane and Vieira’s defining clash came in 2005 when the alpha male duo tore into each other in the tunnel ahead of United’s 4-2 win at Highbury.
The Irishman and Frenchman were reunited during ITV’s coverage of Euro 2020 and appeared to have buried the hatchet.
But that on-screen truce doesn’t seem to extend to when they are not working together.
While Vieira is busy managing Crystal Palace, Keane has left management behind to become a full-time pundit with Sky Sports.
The 50-year-old has brought his prickly personality to the fore in the studio, often laying into modern-day players for their ways.
Yet before the camera is rolling, Keane clearly still retains his cheeky and competitive nature, as was in evidence over the weekend.
Keane was at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday to offer his expertise on Arsenal’s 2-0 dismantling by Chelsea and before kick-off he seized the opportunity to have a playful jab at his old sparring partner.
As he was preparing to broadcast from pitchside, Keane was asked by a fan in the stands where Vieira was.
It was a chance he was not going to pass up, so with a smile on his face, he opened up the pocket on his trousers and looked in.
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The joke went down well with the nearby fans and underlined Keane’s growing reputation as having a good sense of humour, as well as a fiery side.
Yet the joke is also based in reality, too, with Keane saying recently that he always felt he had the better of Vieira on the pitch.
“I thought I was better than Patrick, yeah,” he told former United team-mate Gary Neville onSky Sports’ The Overlap.
With Vieira now managing Crystal Palace, there may well be more opportunities this season for Keane to land some digs on his former rival.
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