Jason McAteer has challenged his long-time foe to a boxing bout
Roy Keane has often made plain his desire to sort out his differences with Jason McAteer with a spot of fisticuffs. That might just happen now.
That’s because McAteer has challenged the former Man United captain to a boxing match, with both throwing £1m ($1.25m) into the fight purse.
The pair’s animosity goes back to the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan - a tournament for which they both made the Rep. of Ireland squad.
The Irish reached the last 16, but Keane walked out on Mick McCarthy’s squad before a ball had been kicked - a decision McAteer has criticised.
Unhappy with Ireland’s tournament preparations at their Saipan base, Keane told McCarthy: “You can stick your World Cup up your arse.”
Soon after, Keane and McAteer crossed paths again when United visited Sunderland in the league - and they ended up clashing in a fiery encounter.
At one point, McAteer could be seen taunting Keane over his explosive, tell-all autobiography, which had just been released.
Later, Keane got back at McAteer by elbowing him, earning a red card. Asked about the incident recently, Keane said his compatriot deserved it.
McAteer, meanwhile, has branded Keane a “clown” and this month challenged him to a boxing bout during a beIN Sports TV show.
Since hanging up their boots, the former team-mates have exchanged countless jibes during appearances as soccer pundits.
So who knows: maybe Keane will say yes to a fight - and in the process follow in the footsteps of ex-Liverpool star Dirk Kuyt, who is now a pro boxer.