When Roy Keane calls a tackle "an assault", you know it must be bad 1 year ago

When Roy Keane calls a tackle "an assault", you know it must be bad

The French player suffered a concussion, broken ribs and lost three teeth.

Roy Keane was a class operator in his playing days, but he was well versed on lumping into a tackle or making a reducer if he felt the situation merited it.


The former Manchester United and Ireland captain was sent off 13 times in his career and got away with red cards for many more borderline moments. His crunching, studs-up challenge on Alf-Inge Haaland in 2001 is perhaps his most infamous sending off.

Roy Keane shouts at Alf Inge Haaland of Manchester City following his red card. (Credit: Gary M Prior/Allsport)

It was worth sitting up to take notice, then, as Keane discussed one of the most wretched tackles in the history of major championship football.


We say tackle, but what Harald Schumacher did to Patrick Battiston, at the 1982 World Cup, was as brutal as you can get. The German goalkeeper rushed from his goal and crunched his hip into the face of the French midfielder.

Battiston was knocked-out and needed to be stretchered off before being taken straight to hospital. As Battiston had got his shot away before he was clattered, the referee waved play on. The shot went wide and it was a goal-kick.

In any sensible scenario, the German goalkeeper should have seen red and France should have been awarded a spot-kick. Germany went on to win the game after a penalty shoot-out, with Schumacher saving two, and reach the final.

Over on ITV, as a preview to the Euro 2020 clash between Germany and France, Keane, Ian Wright and Patrick Vieira shared their memories of the game.


"That was one of the best periods of the French team," said Vieira, "with Luis Fernandez, Alain Giresse, Michel Platini and Jean Tigana."

"I loved that competition," Keane said. "That was one of the first ones I remember, as a child. Those players Patrick has mentioned, what outstanding players.

"But that tackle, that was an assault."

For the football fans that may not have seen Schumacher vs. Battiston before, those Keane comments had plenty of them trawling through the footage archives.

For those of you that have not seen it before, ask yourself how this is NOT a red card?


West Germany went on to lose the final to Italy. France would go on to win the European Championships two years later, in 1984.