Martin O’Neill believes Sir Alex Ferguson was wrong to leave Roy Keane out of his list of Manchester United’s ‘world-class’ footballers.
In September, Ferguson claimed Cristiano Ronaldo, Eric Cantona, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes were the only world-class players he coached during his time in charge of the club.
The list raised a few eyebrows as it failed to include the likes of Wayne Rooney, David Beckham, Rio Ferdinand and Keane.
O’Neill insisted Keane was the “driving force” behind one of Man United’s most successful ever periods and that Ferguson is wrong about his world-class status.
“Roy’s an iconic figure, and he’s been a world-class footballer, regardless of what Sir Alex Ferguson says,” O’Neill said.
“He [Keane] was a world-class player because he influenced that great Manchester United side like you wouldn’t believe. He was the driving force of the team and when you are winning leagues and big cups and you have a driving force like that, I’m sorry but you can be classed as nothing else but world-class.”
Keane is currently working under O’Neill as assistant manager of the Republic of Ireland. The pair guided the team to Euro 2016 qualification this week. Keane was an unbelievable player at his peak and it is hard to disagree with O’Neill – he really was a world-class talent.