Former Manchester United midfielder Roy Keane recently opened up on the horror challenge that he put in on Erling Braut Haaland’s father Alf-Inge Haaland 20 years ago in a Manchester derby, that ultimately put the Manchester City player’s career to an unfortunate end.
Roy Keane and Alf Haaland used to play in two rival clubs back then – Keane at United and Alf at City. During a certain Manchester Derby in April 2001 when the two fellow midfielders faced each other, Keane laid his opponent flat down on the field with a high-knee challenge. Alfe-Inge Haaland was in full motion, and the impact was massive. Roy Keane was rightfully shown a red card for the challenge, but the consequences faced by Alf-Inge Haaland were much worse than that as the same injury brought his career to an end roughly a year later.
Roy Keane is now a famous Sky Sports journalist and is quite well known for being a savage. It was during SkyBet’s ‘Road to Wembley’ show that the Manchester United legend made an intriguing confession regarding the incident.
Roy Keane opens up on the incident
Fellow football pundit Micah Richards, taking use of the opportunity, asked Roy Keane whether he regretted that foul against Alf-Inge Haaland. Keane shockingly replied that he didn’t.
‘Can I tell you something, I have never regretted anything I have done on a football pitch, never,’ Keane replied with conviction.
‘I’ve been sent off and I’ve let my team down.’
Being prompted by Richards, Keane started to further elaborate the story.
‘To me I was in a battle with people, I was in the middle of the park.’
The irish international emphasized on the fact that he might not have wanted to injure Haaland, be he definitely wanted to ‘hurt’ him.
‘No, no of course,’ said Keane, before adding: ‘Did I go to hurt players? Of course I did.
‘I’d never apologise for that. And people went to hurt me.
‘I never, ever went out to injure a player in my life, [but] did I go out to hurt players? Course.
‘When you go for a ball in the middle of the park there’s a good chance that somebody is going to get hurt.’
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Having said enough, the irishman concluded the story with a giggle, ‘This is like my shrink.”
‘Getting all these things off my chest.’
Alf-Inge Haaland is still known by football fans allover the world. Not as a manchester City player though, but as Erling Braut Haaland’s father. The Borussia Dortmund striker is one of the most in-demand players currently, who is wanted by every team.
Over the years, Alf-Inge Haaland has rarely talked about the challenge by Roy Keane that ended his career. Nor has he engaged in a verbal spat with his former rival over the incident. The Norwegian believes that the incident is too old to be payed heed to anymore.
Alf-Inge Haaland’s take on the incident
In 2008, Alf-Inge told Sportsmail: “The worst thing about what he did and what he wrote in his book is the example that it set to young kids who follow big-name players like him. They see these things and they think it’s okay.
‘I played in central midfield, I had run-ins with people every week, but at the end of the game you shake hands and the problems stay on the field. That is what should have happened between me and him.’