Roy Keane reveals Cristiano Ronaldo WASN’T one of the five world-class players he played with at Man Utd – The Sun
2nd May 2022

ROY KEANE played alongside some of the biggest names in Manchester United's long and illustrious history  – but only FIVE players were worthy of being called world-class.

And club Cristiano Ronaldo – who made a sensational return to Old Trafford last summer –  was NOT one of them.

The former Red Devils captain, who acrimoniously left the club in 2005 – made the stunning revelation after his old side was held to a 1-1 draw with Arsenal in September 2019.

Keane stunned United fans across the globe by telling left Sky Sports' Jamie Carragher: "We never gave ourselves an opportunity to talk about players being world-class.

"But if I look back now, you'd have to class Giggsy [Ryan Giggs].

"I always class the world-class players as lads who were doing it for nine, ten, 11 years – obviously Giggsy's done it for a lot longer but to me, that's the key to being a really good player: you've got to be consistent.

"We see players now, they have a good month and patting themselves on the back.

"You have to be good for years and years, and Giggsy would have been a prime example."

Keane's world-class list also included fellow United legends Paul Scholes, Eric Cantona and Mark Hughes the latter of whom he dubbed a "brilliant striker."

But it was his old friend and former room-mate Denis Irwin who received the most glowing review.

The former Republic of Ireland international said of his countryman: "My God, imagine if Denis Irwin was playing now.

"He could play left-back, right-back, get you a goal, knew how to defend, never injured, a brilliant guy in the dressing room.

"Denis would be world-class to me – and he's a Corkman!"

Keane's omission of Ronaldo left United fans gobsmacked as the Portuguese superstar was the first Red Devil to win the Ballon d'Or since George Best in 1968.

But the notoriously hard-to-please Irishman's snub of the six-time Ballon d'Or winner was likely down to the fact they only played together for two seasons.

Keane captained United during a historically successful period for the club and won the Premier League seven times with the club.

He walked out on the club in 2005 after an explosive in-house interview criticising his team-mates' display after a 4-1 defeat to Middlesbrough.

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