Greatest Roy Keane Quotes, a complete collection

Wed 07 July 2021 | 7:30

A look back at the greatest Roy Keane quotes including his comments on football and the biggest stars of the game.

Roy Keane is former Irish player who is currently working as a manager and a pundit. Widely considered as one of the greatest football stars of all time, Roy Keane had the best years of his career at

Manchester United

. He was the captain of the famous Manchester side which won the 1998-99 treble. He also played for Nottingham Forest and Celtic.

During his illustrated career, Keane won almost every major title at the club level including 6

Premier League

and 4 FA Cup titles as well as the Scottish domestic double with Celtic. Keane was a member of the Ireland national team for almost 15 years and participated in the 1998 World Cup. He became Ireland's assistant coach in 2013 and continued to work for the national team till 2018.

Keane played over 500 career games and scored 66 goals. He has also worked as a pundit for Sky Sports. In 2021, He was included in the 30-player list of Premier League Hall of fame. Roy Keane is truly among the most influential players in the history of the beautiful game. In the following article we present you with a complete collection of

Roy Keane quotes


Best Collection of Roy Keane quotes

We present football fans with the Best collection of

Roy Keane quotes

which includes his quotes about his personality and career as well as his comments on Messi and Ronaldo.

Roy Keane quotes about his character, childhood and personal life

Roy Keane was famous for his amazing determination, physicality, competitiveness and leadership skills. He was the captain of Ireland national team and Manchester United for many years and showed his strong personality in many key moments of his amazing career. Keane is also famous for his unbelievably blunt attitude toward his colleagues. Despite his bad boy image of his playing style, Keane is a family man. He has been married to his wife, Theresa Doyle since 1997 and has five children. Here are Roy Keane quotes about his own personality and private life.

I’ve got my kids (tattooed) on my right arm: Shannon, Caragh, Aidan and Leah… The wife did ask me why didn’t I get hers and I said ‘they’ll always be my kids but you won’t necessarily always be my wife,’ which she wasn’t too pleased about.

Unlike humans, dogs don’t talk shit.

People say I'm hard, I'm Mr Angry. I'm this, I'm that. I just want to win matches. There's no point going out there and being Mr Nice Guy. We get 55,000 at Old Trafford and I don't think they want fellas going out there and thinking: Ah, if we lose, so what?

Hopefully kids will look at me and see that your dreams can come true.

Will those on telly yesterday be remembered for what they’ve achieved? None whatsoever. I wouldn’t trust them to walk my dog. There are ex-players and ex-referees being given air-time who I wouldn’t listen to in a pub.

People ask where my competitive streak comes from. It’s fear. I have a big fear of failure.

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

Roy Keane quotes about football and his playing style

Roy Keane is famous for his work-rate, mobility, energy, physicality, and hard-tackling style of play. The Irish former super star is also known for his interesting views on football and the ideal way it should be played. He has been active as a pundit for many years now and it is certainly interesting to know more on the top quotes by Roy Keane about football and his own playing style.

The type of game I play, I’m going to pick injuries and suspensions, unfortunately.

Aggression is what I do. I go to war. You don't contest football matches in a reasonable state of mind. On his all-action playing style

The last song before the players went on to the pitch was ‘Dancing Queen’ by Abba. What really worried me was that none of the players – not one – said: ‘Get that s**t off.’ They were going out to play a match, men versus men, testosterone levels were high. You’ve got to hit people at pace. F*****g’ ‘Dancing Queen.’ It worried me. I didn’t have as many leaders as I thought.

Priorities have changed in football and [players] are being dictated to by their wives.

I think players tend to get anxious if they've not really done things properly - like eating, resting or training. If you're fully prepared you've got nothing to worry about - it's just a game of football.

Over analyse, paralyse, you mustn't over analyse... Do you wake up at four in the morning and wonder who should be playing left-back? Four? I would love to sleep that long. If you want a really long career you have to find a way of switching off. I do it when I'm out walking my dog, Alex Ferguson got into horses, and others get into wine. Some players like going shopping, which is not my scene. A lot of them turn to golf. I tried it, didn't like it. I have to walk. If I couldn't I'd be in a padded cell by now.

Before the game there was all this stuff about anti-racism and anti-bullying. It would be a good idea to start wearing wristbands for anti-diving.

I can look back and think 'I'm just one of the luckiest people in the world.

People say I’m a bit old school; I call it good school. No matter what’s going on at your club, you go out and give it your all. The idea that these players may be a little bit upset…and it’s not just at United.

I think football should be your number one priority. It should be. Focus on the game, don’t hide behind your cars, or your tattoos or your girlfriends or your agent, play the game.

The game hasn’t changed that much, the players have. Maybe chat to them after the game. Actually, don’t even chat to them after the game.

The amount of fights I’ve had in Cork would probably be another book. I mean, people go on about my problems off the field, but they don’t even know the half of it.

You’re going to war. Hugging and kissing, don’t even look at them. You’re going to battle against them.

If they don’t want to come because their wife wants to go shopping in London, it’s a sad state of affairs. To me, that player is weak because his wife runs his life.

When we lost it ruined my mood for days. Current players are too busy filming themselves dancing in the dressing rooms to care about losing.

People say ‘go with the flow’ but do you know what goes with the flow? Dead fish.

Roy Keane quotes on Messi and Ronaldo 

In every generation, young football fans argue endlessly about who is the best player of the history of football. In our generation the debate is between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo fans.

Keane has played alongside Cristiano Ronaldo many times during his career at Manchester United. He has praised Ronaldo and Messi in many of his interviews, although he was critical of Messi after Barcelona's 8-2 demolition at the hands of

Bayern Munich

in 2020. Here are Roy Keane quotes on

Lionel Messi


Cristiano Ronaldo


I was a big fan of Maradona growing up and of the current crop Ronaldo is good but Messi is the best I’ve ever seen. I don’t dish out praise lightly but Messi deserves it. I look for weaknesses in his game and I can’t find them.

What impressed me most was that he’d been given the option of staying in Lisbon for another year, on loan, but he said no; he’d come over to Manchester straightaway. I thought it was a good, brave decision – because he was only seventeen.

After the first few days, watching him train, my reaction was, ‘This lad is going to be one of the world’s greatest players.’ I didn’t say it publicly, because I’d always be wary of building a player up too early – or knocking him down.

He was amazing. He was immediately one of the hardest working players at United. Most of the players I knew worked hard, but Ronaldo had the talent on top of the work rate.

He was good-looking and he knew it. He was vain in that sense – at the mirror. He was a big lad, a big unit. I’d think, ‘Good on yeh.’ Looking at some of the other lads in front of the mirror, I’d think, ‘Yeh f***in’ nugget.

But Ronaldo had an innocence to him, and a niceness. I don’t think he ever slackened off, or that he was ever more worried about the mirror than his game. I always felt that football was his love. (From Keane's second autobiography, The Second Half)

The boy Messi? Nonsense. Fans and pundits see a few hundred goals and they lose their minds. Where’s the crunching tackles? The headers? The 50-50s? All the lad does is score and create hundreds of goals. One trick pony? Half trick donkey, more like.

I think that with Ronaldo he's been in different leagues, out of his comfort zone. Ronaldo when he left Portugal, even at Manchester United, I remember he had a year where they said he can go back [but he wanted to stay and fight at Old Trafford].

I think in years to come, we've been fortunate to watch both at the height of their powers, but in years to come I think Ronaldo will pinch it for me. I'd have him ahead of Messi. And I never thought I'd say that because I love Messi as well.

Top quotes by Roy Keane about famous football players and teams

In this part of our article on we will have a look at the

top quotes by Roy Keane

about other football great stars and teams, including his comments on Wayne Roone, Rio Ferdinand and Jerome Boateng.  

On Wayne Rooney slapping a wrestler:

Last week I saw him (Rooney) slapping a wrestler and I’m thinking ‘Why is he getting involved in all that nonsense?’ There’s no benefit to him. I’d have a look at that side of it.

On Fabien Barthez and Laurent Blanc:

Fabien Barthez and Laurent Blanc used to smoke together in the toilets, at half-time. They were French – they smoked. If it had been a couple of Irish lads, I’d have been shouting at them: Yeh dirty bastards – get out!

This is a player who has just won the Champions League, he’s supposed to be a fierce intimidating defender. Walking round with a haircut like that, looking like

Megan Rapinoe

…do me a favour.

On Ian Holloway:

Ian Holloway was managing Plymouth. I didn’t get a real chance to celebrate the victory because Ian pulled me into a meeting to tell me all about the problems he was having getting training facilities. I was thinking, I don’t give a shit about your training facilities. I just won a game of football.

On Dwight Yorke:

Yorkie has officially retired about 5 times… The man’s a clown… People are going on about the game and agents and directors of football and managers losing their jobs, but we should be worried about people like him… Clowns. That’s the last time I’m going to say clown… If he’s the vice-president of FIFA, God help us all.

On Luke Shaw:

When I see Shaw coming back into the team… the nearer we’re getting to kick-off, the more worried I’m getting,

On Tottenham:

Please don’t go on about


, we all know what Tottenham are about. They are nice and tidy but we’ll f****** do them.’ Alex came in and said: ‘Lads, it’s only Tottenham.’ And that was it! Brilliant!

That’s in Tottenham’s DNA, they will constantly disappoint you. The table doesn’t lie, ninth, that’s where they deserve to be.

On Carlos Quiroz:

I remember having conversations about loyalty when I was at the club. I don’t think he knows the meaning of the word. To constantly criticise other players that brought him success. I won’t be losing any sleep over it.

Don’t you f—ing talk to me about loyalty, Carlos. You left this club after 12 months a few years ago for the Real Madrid job. Don’t you dare question my loyalty.'

On his fight with Alex Ferguson:

Ferguson never turned up. I thought that was out of order. He called me a few days later to apologise. He said he’d had to rush off after the game and he’d waited a long time for me. I told him he should have a drink with me, like he would have with any other manager, and that he hadn’t shown me or my staff proper respect.

Ferguson came out afterwards and said he always did what was best by Manchester United. Nonsense. His son Darren played for the club and won a league medal...[he was] very lucky.[Alex Ferguson's] brother was the chief scout for Manchester United for a long time. I'm surprised his wife wasn't involved in the staff somewhere. Darren was [the manager] at Preston North End and lost his job. He had a couple of young players on loan from Manchester United, [but] guess what happens the next day? They're pulled out of Preston. Is that doing the best for Manchester United? Do me a favour.

On Patrick Viera:

If it had come to a fight, Patrick [Vieira] could probably have killed me.

On Rio Ferdinand:

Just because you are paid £120,000-a-week and play well for 20 minutes against Tottenham, you think you are a superstar.

On Pablo Counago:

Pablo Counago was a player I didn’t particularly like or get on with. No club was interested in taking him – and I was happy to tell him that. I just found him dead lazy. He went: ‘How are we going to win anything with you as manager?’ I nearly physically attacked him – but I didn’t.

On Gary Neville:

Maybe Gary deserves to be chased up a tunnel every now and then – there would be a queue for him, probably. But you have to draw a line eventually.

On Liverpool:

I think if


were playing out in my back garden, I wouldn’t watch them. They’re just drifting. Drifting nowhere.

On Jose Mourinho:

He’s got a fantastic CV and it seems like a good fit. Maybe not for me. he’s not my cup of tea. I’ve found him really irritating when I’ve coached against him.

Best Roy Keane quotes about Manchester United and Ireland National team

We wrap up our article on the

Best Roy Keane quotes

with a collection of his most famous comments about his time as a player with Manchester United and Ireland national team.

On his time with Ireland national team

People look back on my career and think the injuries and leaving the Ireland team at the World Cup were the disappointments. None of that stuff comes into it. The biggest disappointments were the games we lost in Europe. Years when we just got sucked into the bull, 'the final is in Glasgow this season, the manager's home city,' as if that entitled us to a break. 'The final's in Old Trafford this season, made for us.

Who do you think you are having meetings about me? You were a crap player and you are a crap manager. The only reason I have any dealings with you is that somehow you are the manager of my country and you’re not even Irish you English ****! (On his fight with Ireland manager)

I love playing for my country but my sanity is more important.

On Manchester United

I’m not at Manchester United to keep everyone happy.

The performance against Spurs was disgraceful… we’ve been in football, we’ve had bad days, but I thought it was a disgrace to the badge, some of the players’ performance. Too many bluffers, and ultimately I think they will cost Ole his job.

I don't think some of the people who come to Old Trafford can spell football, never mind understand it. Sometimes you wonder, do they understand the game of football? They have a few drinks and probably the prawn sandwiches, and they don't realise what's going on out on the pitch.

I'd waited long enough. I fucking hit him hard. The ball was there (I think). Take that you cunt. And don't ever stand over me again sneering about fake injuries. And tell your pal [David] Wetherall there's some for him as well. I didn't wait for Mr Elleray to show the red card. I turned and walked to the dressing room. (About his famous revenge tackle against Alfie Haaland)

If you came down from the moon today and knew nothing about football you'd say United are an average Premier League side. Nothing more. They are Manchester United of the 1980s, they can be a decent cup team. I did fear the worst today and it could have been a lot more. Towards the end Liverpool just toyed with them. United were not at the races. I certainly believe a lot of the players playing for United today are not good enough for Manchester United.

Man United, for all the doom and gloom, they're still the best club on the planet, they've got the best supporters and the best manager... United will always be United. To me, they are still the best and whatever disappointments they're having at the moment, don't worry, they'll bounce back. They always do.

At the end of the game, they're hugging and smiling, Just go into the tunnel! I don't get it. Everyone just wants to be friends. You're playing for these clubs to win matches, not to be everyone's mate. (On the 2021 Manchester Derby)

If there was a good, strong dressing room that would not be tolerated. That is why I worry about the United dressing room. That wouldn’t be tolerated in a good dressing room. For a young player, who is still learning his trade.

So here was our article on the

Roy Keane quotes

. Which part did you like the most? Any quotes you want to add to the list? Let us know in the comments section.

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