Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has opened up on how his former teammate Roy Keane sensationally left the Old Trafford 13 years ago.
Keane unexpectedly left United by mutual consent on 18 November 2005, following a long-term absence from the team due to an injury sustained in his last competitive game for the club against Liverpool.
The Irishman has departed after an infamous interview with MUTV in 2005 criticising his United teammates and his manager.
Keane’s words following a humiliating 4–1 defeat at the hands of Middlesbrough in early November have immediately angered his manager, Sir Alex Ferguson.
And his former teammate Ferdinand has revealed how Ferguson broke the news to the dressing room the next day.
“The manager [Ferguson] thought that it was not right and disrespectful to the team,” Ferdinand told Netflix documentary ‘Sir Alex Ferguson: Secrets of Success’.
“He told the players Roy Keane would never come back to Man Utd again – even though he was captain for us.”
“He was probably the best player Man Utd had – but it was a message to the next generation.”
“Don’t ever think you are bigger than this club – even the captain was told he would never play again.”
Keane would later apologise to Ferguson and his assistant Carlos Queiroz as he wrote in his autobiography: “I went to see the manager and Carlos, and I apologised.”
“Sometimes you feel a justified anger, sometimes you feel you’ve done something wrong.”
“I apologised but afterwards, I was thinking, ‘I’m not sure why I f***ing apologised’.”
“I just wanted to do the right thing. I was apologising for what had happened — that it had happened.”
“I wasn’t apologising for my behaviour or stance. There’s a difference. I had nothing to apologise for.”
Keane, who started his senior career at Cobh Ramblers then to Nottingham Forest before moving to Manchester United in 1993, has ended his playing career at Celtic.
The current assistant manager for the Republic of Ireland national team has won 17 trophies with United including seven Premier League titles and UEFA Champions League.