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12th Jun 2017

Gabriel Heinze reveals what happens when you tell Roy Keane to “F*** off”

It doesn't end well

Robert Redmond

“I don’t remember what happened next.”

Manchester United fans will have mixed memories of Gabriel Heinze. The Argentine defender joined the club in 2004 and soon became a fan favourite. He was even voted United’s player of the season in the 2004/05 season.

In his second autobiography, Ferguson described Heinze as “ruthless, (he would) would kick his granny. But an absolute winner.”

However, his departure from the club left a sour taste. Heinze lost his place in the title winning team in the 2006/07 season to Patrice Evra, after returning from a cruciate injury, and wanted to leave Old Trafford in the summer of 2007.

Liverpool bid for the left-back, and Heinze wanted to join United’s bitter rivals, but Ferguson wouldn’t allow it. The player joined Real Madrid instead.

Before that fall-out with Ferguson, the Argentine defender got on the wrong side of Roy Keane.

Heinze, who is now manager of Argentinos Juniors, revealed that the former United captain knocked him out during a row following a game.

“We lost a game and I went in the dressing room first and Roy Keane was second. I liked to go first after the game. I didn’t want to speak to anyone as we lost,” Heinze told Argentine television.

“I didn’t understand English, just the bad words. I heard my name and ‘f*** off’ by Roy Keane, the best player.

“I knew that was bad so I stood up to him, this idol of Manchester, this great guy who everyone loved, and replied: ‘F*** off, you’. I don’t remember what happened next.”

Heinze was then asked if Keane knocked him out, and replied: “Yes.”

Despite that incident, Keane, in his second autobiography, spoke well of Heinze, saying he liked him as a person. But it sounds as though they regularly clashed.

“Gabriel Heinze was another good guy,” the Irishman wrote, before going on to say how the defender once left him with a debilitating injury.

“He was a nasty f***** – nasty in training. I picked up an injury one day. A lot of it was my own fault. It was a Friday. We were playing Spurs at home the next day, and we’d always have light training the day before a home game. But it got a bit nasty and it ended up with myself and Gabby having a few tackles on each other.

“He kneed me on the side of my leg and, being the hero that I am, I kept my mouth shut. I didn’t want to go in for treatment, but I was in agony. I left the house the next day, limping. I said to my wife, ‘Well, I won’t be able to play. I’ll just go in and tell them’. I got to Old Trafford and limped – literally – to the dressing room. I got a few painkillers, and played.

“My wife said it was the funniest thing, hearing my name being announced on the radio, after she’d seen me limping out of the house that morning. But I liked Heinze.”

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