Roy Keane reveals regret over one time he asked to swap shirts at the end of the game

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‘He said ‘no’ and I went ‘f***’: Roy Keane reveals his regret over the ONLY time he asked an opponent to swap shirts – and says he’s pleased he avoided the temptation to swap with ‘brilliant’ Zidane

  • Roy Keane offered to swap shirts with German player Matthias Sammer in 1994
  • The German sweeper rejected the request and Keane regretted asking him
  • Keane never offered to swap his shirt with any other player after that moment
  • The pundit revealed he was glad not to exchange jerseys with Zinedine Zidane 


Manchester United legend Roy Keane has recalled the one time in his playing career where he asked to swap shirts at the end of the game.

Keane has previously been vociferous in his dismay at players who swap shirts in his role as a Sky Sports pundit. But his moment occurred in a warm-up friendly ahead of the 1994 World Cup with the Republic of Ireland against Germany, where he asked Matthias Sammer for his shirt.

The Sky Sports pundit admits he regretted asking Sammer for the swap and revealed the German sweeper rejected his request.

Roy Keane admits he regrets the one moment he asked to swap a shirt with another player

Roy Keane admits he regrets the one moment he asked to swap a shirt with another player

Keane said on his episode of Gary Neville’s The Overlap: ‘I’ve asked one player to swap a jersey, which I regret when I played Germany with Ireland. Once to swap a player for Germany, pre-94 World Cup.’

After former United team-mate Neville asked who that played was, he responded: ‘It was the sweeper, Sammer. He said, ‘No’ and I went, ‘f***’.’

Keane then reveals if there was anybody he would swap shirts with it would be Real Madrid legend Zinedine Zidane.

The former United captain though says he was ‘glad’ he didn’t swap shirts with the Frenchman. 

Keane offered to swap his shirt with Germany's Matthias Sammer only for the sweeper to refuse the Irishman's request

Keane offered to swap his shirt with Germany’s Matthias Sammer only for the sweeper to refuse the Irishman’s request

Keane said: ‘He (Sammer) was polite, but if I really wanted to swap with somebody, it probably would have been Zidane.

‘Zidane is a brilliant player and after the Madrid game we were walking up the tunnel together; he was looking at me, and I was thinking he’d probably ask me for my shirt.

‘But no, I’m glad we didn’t swap shirts, and that was the other time I thought, ‘will I, won’t I?’ and I’ve gone, ‘no, leave it.”

Keane has previously discussed his annoyance at players from opposing sides being too friendly.

Keane admits he was glad that he didn’t offer to swap his shirt with Zinedine Zidane

After Manchester United held their local rivals Man City to a goalless draw in December 2020, Neville hit out at players for hugging after the game.

He said: ‘At the end of the game the staff and players are hugging, smiling, chatting with each other. Just get down the tunnel, I don’t get it. Everyone wants to be pals with each other, and be popular.

‘You’re playing for these clubs, particularly Man United, to win football matches. Not to be mates with everybody!’

‘Two bookings in a derby game. I’ve never seen so many hugs and chats after the game. It’s a derby game.’

Jordan Henderson has previously admitted to following Keane's guidance on swapping shirts

Jordan Henderson has previously admitted to following Keane’s guidance on swapping shirts

One player to have followed Keane’s guidance on swapping shirts is Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson who played under the United legend at Sunderland.

As reported by the Mirror, Henderson when asked whether he wanted to swap shirts with Lionel Messi said: ‘Did I think about asking for his shirt? No. I’ve never done it.

‘Roy Keane told me when I was at Sunderland that if you ask for someone’s shirt, it looks like you are in awe of them.’

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