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Ex-Man United player recalls insult he wanted to throw at Roy Keane

Roy Keane Hibs

Kleberson recalls clash with Roy Keane.

Former Manchester United midfielder Kleberson has recalled the day he wanted to throw a fairly disparaging remark in the direction of his captain Roy Keane.

While most of us have played out imaginary arguments with colleagues in our heads, in the case of Kleberson it was a language barrier that stopped him from insulting the fiery Corkman.

The Brazilian joined Man United a year after winning the World Cup for his country, during a mixed transfer window that also saw Cristiano Ronaldo and Eric Djemba-Djemba arrive at Old Trafford.

Djemba-Djemba has previously spoken of a time when Keane hit Kleberson with a “scary” tirade, and Kleberson has now moved to clear up the incident, when speaking with OLGB.

Kleberson on Roy Keane incident.

“It’s true Roy Keane called me out in the dressing room in one of my first games,” confirmed the now-43-year-old, who is currently assistant coach at New York City FC

“I saw the interview with Eric Djemba-Djemba, where he says Keane called me out. But my English at that time was horrible, I couldn’t understand anything.

“I tried to understand what Keane said, and I didn’t have anything to protect myself and say something. I was thinking, ‘go win a World Cup before talking to me’.

“But I didn’t have any English to argue back. It’s kind of funny now because I understand what Roy Keane did at the club, the passion he has, the winning player inside him. He’ll push you and you need players like that.”


World Cup insult.

A year earlier, Kleberson was winning the World Cup alongside the likes of Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho, while Keane had been sent home in disgrace from the same tournament by Ireland boss Mick McCarthy.

Challenging an Irish player to win the World Cup probably points to misjudgement on Kleberson’s part on the country’s standing in the international game, but if anyone could have led us to success on the greatest stage of all, it would have been prime Roy Keane.

Despite their differences, Kleberson appears to maintain some respect for his former skipper, as well as other Man United legends who he played with.

ronaldo roy keane interview

Man United leaders.

“United had some big players like Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes at that point too, they were really leading the team,” he added.

“Keane on the field was really good but those players on the field also acted like captains, and were a big part of the club.”

In all, Kleberson stayed at United for just two seasons, before making the move to Besiktas in Turkey.

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