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28th Jun 2018

Gary Neville does Roy Keane proud after close encounter with Slaven Bilic

This would have brought a smile to Roy Keane's face

Patrick McCarry

The Croatian was not fond of this from Neville

Like the studio lights, Slaven Bilic seems to be a permanent fixture for ITV’s World Cup coverage from Russia.

The former West Brom and Croatia boss is one of the key faces on ITV for their coverage of the tournament and he has already brought us some highlight-reel moments.

Whether it is his non-plussed face during a rambling Martin O’Neill anecdote or admitting, “To be fair, I don’t care”, when asked about a Brazil VAR decision, Bilic has been in the thick of it.

Best of all, thus far, has been the tetchy relationship between Bilic and Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane. Bilic’s touchy-feely approach has ruffled Keane on a few occasions:

There was no Keane in the ITV studios on Wednesday, as the broadcaster covered Brazil’s 2-0 win over Serbia. Gary Neville occupied the seat nearest presenter Mark Pougatch while Lee Dixon and the omnipresent Ian Wright were also in-situ.

During a discussion on how the Serbian defence could better cope with the Brazilians, Neville cracked out a demonstration that many Sky Sports viewers will be well familiar with.

Reaching across to use Bilic as a prop, Neville said:

“His arm has got to be there, so even if his run goes across him he’s blocking that run. Make him go behind you so he’s at least he’s got time to react.”

There was definite contact – almost as much as Richie Sadlier made on Liam Brady when debating VAR – but Bilic was not pleased, even going so far as to rub his ribs.

Viewers at home were full appreciative of the moment…

Keane would have surely approved Bilic getting a taste of his own medicine.