Roy Keane’s classic reaction to missing 1999 Champions League final


Roy Keane is a Champions League winner.

The Manchester United legend got his hands on ‘Big Ears’ during the famous treble-winning season of 1998/99, which culminated in the iconic 2-1 win over Bayern Munich at Camp Nou.

However, Keane wasn’t lifting UEFA’s legendary trophy above his head in the famous red jersey of the Red Devils, but rather the club’s official suit because he had actually been suspended for the final.

Keane suspended for Champions League final

Both himself and Paul Scholes were absent from the legendary comeback in Barcelona because of yellow cards that they picked up during the semi-final tie against Juventus.

And what made the situation especially cruel for Keane is that he dropped arguably his greatest ever performance during the second leg against the Old Lady to send United to the final in the first place.

As such, there was clearly some extra glitter and gloss lacking from the Champions League victory for Keane with his suspension meaning that he couldn’t get amongst the drama on the pitch.

And when it comes to the infamously high standards of Keane, it really does make a difference because the iconic Premier League skipper felt like his winner’s medal didn’t mean much as a result.

Keane’s thoughts on his CL medal

Yes, seriously, despite Keane having been inspirational across United’s journey to conquering Europe, the Irishman was incredibly harsh on himself by saying that he didn’t truly appreciate the hardware.

According to the Manchester Evening News, Keane once questioned why people didn’t understand his belief that the medal means little to him during a video that regularly crops up on social media.

Keane remarked in typical fashion: “I didn’t play, did I? I don’t know why people don’t understand when I answer, they say ‘well, you got the medal’, but I didn’t play.

“How can that be the same? It’s not the same, I wasn’t even sub. I wasn’t in the squad, I was in the stand with a shirt and tie on.

“I think it took 13 games to get to the final and I played in all of them but I missed the big one. I got a medal, they gave me a medal, but it doesn’t mean anything to me, it means nothing to me.

“I remember going back to the dressing room and joining in but, deep down, you’re thinking you don’t want to be there.

“It’s one of the most natural feelings in the world, you’re just on the edge looking in and it’s very hard.”

1999 05 25T000000Z 1 MT1ACI65143 RTRMADP 3 SPORT
Football – Manchester United Training , Pre-Champions League Final , Nou Camp , 25/5/99
Mandatory Credit: Action Images
Manchester United’s Roy Keane takes on some Water during the Training Session

That might just be the most Roy Keane thing that Roy Keane has ever said.

Classic Roy Keane

Now, to be fair, you can certainly sympathise with Keane for not feeling the full impact of the final because he didn’t play, but he most definitely deserved a medal for all his epic displays en route to the big night.

Besides, there’s very good reason to think that United never would have been celebrating Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s iconic goals if it wasn’t for Keane’s leadership to get them there.

And if Keane is going to be that harsh on himself when it comes to his own Champions League medal, then we dread to imagine what he thought about John Terry whipping on a full Chelsea kit in 2012…

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Football – Bayern Munich v Chelsea 2012 UEFA Champions League Final – Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany – 19/5/12
Chelsea’s John Terry celebrates with the trophy after winning the 2012 UEFA Champions League
Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Carl Recine
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