Patrick Vieira claims he was 'much better' than Roy Keane in new interview
'So I loved the way he was on the field, it was massive respect'
Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira couldn't help but aim a few subtle digs at Roy Keane in a recent interview, joking that he didn't want to touch the former Manchester United man's shirt and insisting he was the 'much better' player of the two.
Vieira and Keane enjoyed a great rivalry during their playing days, sharing a number of fiery battles as United and the Gunners clashed at the top of the Premier League for several years.
The pair were embroiled in an infamous spat in 2005, where a furious Keane could be heard shouting in the Highbury tunnel that his opponent was 'not a nice guy'.
While the two former players have since put their feud to bed - even working together as pundits since their respective retirements - Crystal Palace manager Vieira still took a funny swipe at Keane while looking back at the shirts which best evoke memories of his career.
🏆 Winning the World Cup
🤬 Battles against Keane
🔴 Invincible with Arsenal
🦅 Pride managing Palace
We're celebrating a true legend of the game on his birthday, Patrick Vieira 🙌
Made with @classicshirts 👕 pic.twitter.com/PHHiD3S5ym
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) June 23, 2022
Vieira admits he has 'massive respect' for the Irishman
Appearing in the latest instalment of BT Sport's What I Wore series, the Frenchman was presented with one of Keane's United shirts, before joking: "That's why I put my hand in my pocket, I don't want to [touch] the shirt."
However, Vieira then expressed his admiration for Keane's leadership qualities and insisted he has 'massive respect' for the Irishman.
"From the first game [against Keane], I knew straight away that it will be a fight in every single game," he added.
"So I loved the way he was on the field, it was massive respect. And he was a leader, he was the captain of the team, he was the one who was driving the team and the players to compete at the level he was, challenging the players.
"I admire him as a captain and I knew that would be one of the battles to try to win when you're on the pitch."
Arsenal legend says he was the better player
Vieira also insisted that he got the better of Keane 'really often', and when he asked if he felt he was the better player of the two, he replied with a smile: "Much better. I would say much better, yes."
The Red Devils and the Gunners dominated the Premier League throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s, sharing the Premier League title between them from 1996 up until 2004.
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