Roy Keane discusses his toughest ever opponent with Micah Richards

Roy Keane has revealed why he believes Zinedine Zidane was his toughest ever opponent during his playing days.

Throughout the course of his own time in the beautiful game, Keane established himself as one of the toughest midfielders of his generation. From pinpoint tackles to an intimidating reputation, his tenacity on the pitch has been lauded ever since he first burst into the mainstream.

“People don’t realise how big he was”

These days he’s enjoying the world of punditry and recently, he’s formed a really fun partnership with rising star Micah Richards.

The last few years have seen them become quite the double act and in their recent Road to Wembley series ahead of the Euros, Richards asked Keane whether or not Zinedine Zidane was the best player he’d ever gone up against.

“Yeah and do you know why? Honestly, still to this day people don’t realise how big he was,” Keane said.

“When I played against him, I’m quite a small guy – I’m 5′ 10” and I’m really slight. People may think maybe I look bigger on the pitch.

“The best thing when I used to play against Zidane – at club level and I played against him for Ireland – the advice I would get from my friends in Ireland would be, ‘just kick him!’ That would be the technical advice. 

“I used to say, ‘he’s 6′ 2″. He can deal with that!’ I think he’d been sent off eight or nine times. What he was and what I loved about Zidane was that he was nasty.”

Keane is set to be a featured member of the ITV punditry team throughout the upcoming European Championship this summer.

His first assignment, alongside the rest of the country, will be to tune in and watch England begin their campaign against Croatia this Sunday at Wembley.

Featured image credit: Getty