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02nd Oct 2022

Broadcaster tries to reunite Roy Keane and Alfie Haaland before Manchester derby

Patrick McCarry

Roy Keane

Close proximity.

In a Manchester derby, 21 years ago, Roy Keane bided his time before crunching into Alfie Haaland and getting right in his face, before a deserved red card was shown.

Keane had brooded long and hard over what he felt was Haaland goading him as he lay injured on the Elland Road turf, in 1997, when he suffered a torn cruciate. Four years later and Haaland, having moved from Leeds to Manchester City, had a target on him. In his 2002 autobiography, Keane wrote:

‘He was winding me up from the beginning of the game. Five minutes from time… I lunged forward at Haaland. I was trying to trip him rather than kick him. I knew it would probably mean a booking but, f**k it, he’d done my head in.’

Keane would get banned for the red card and copped an additional sanction after that book, and that claim, was published. Two decades on and much water has passed under the bridge. The former Manchester United captain has even taken Haaland jokes in good humour, on recent broadcasts.

An attempt to reunite the pair, down on the Etihad Stadium pitch, before today’s Manchester derby did not go as planned, though.

Roy Keane

‘Closest they’ve been in 20 years’

As Roy Keane was doing his punditry duties for Sky Sports, at the Etihad Stadium, Alfie Haaland was working on the game for Scandinavian broadcaster Viaplay.

Ahead of City’s home tie with crosstown rivals United, Jan Aage Fjortoft caught up with his former Norway teammate. Alfie Haaland spoke about still (just about) leading his son, Arling, in goals scored for City and his time at the club.

As Roy Keane and the Sky Sports team were broadcasting so close, there was an attempt to orchestrate a handshake between the former United star and Haaland.

According to Samuel Luckhurst of Manchester Evening News, though, the reunion was not to be.

Ahead of the game, Keane praised Erling Haaland as ‘a machine’ who ‘is brilliant to watch and so hard to stop’.

A big fan of Haaland Jr.

Still not sold on Haaland Sr.

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