Look up some of the most recent Manchester derbies and the headline “Roy Keane cripples Alf-Inge Haaland” won’t be too far away. The 2001 derby brought a tackle that no matter how often you’ve seen it, is still toe curling in it’s brutality. As Simon Hatterson wrote in the Guardian:
“Keane should not have been merely sent off, he should have been imprisoned for assault. He admitted as much a year later in his autobiography when he revealed that he set out to cripple Manchester City’s Haaland. The tackle has an almost equally vicious backstory…Four years before the knee-capping, Keane had fouled Haaland when the latter was playing for Leeds United, and in doing so he seriously damaged his own knee ligaments. With Keane writhing in agony, Haaland told him to get up and stop faking it. Not the wisest thing to say to Roy “Killer” Keane and it was inevitable that Killer would take his revenge. And when he did it was horrendous even by his standards. As Haaland had stood over him, he stood over Haaland telling him, somewhat less politely, that he had it coming to him. Most terrifying of all, Keane was proud of his act of vengeance, and wanted the world to know that it was 100% deliberate”.
An excerpt from Keane’s biography, that was later removed (with expletives) by the publishers read: “I’d waited long enough. I hit him hard. The ball was there (I think). Take that. And don’t ever stand over me again sneering about fake injuries.”