Vieira refuses to touch Roy Keane’s shirt – and insists he was "much better"

Former Arsenal hero Patrick Vieira joked he didn't "want to touch" Roy Keane's old Manchester United shirt and insisted he was the "much better" player out of the two.

The Crystal Palace boss, 46, enjoyed a fierce rivalry with Keane during the mid-2000s as Arsenal and Man Utd continuously wrestled for the Premier League crown. Under the stewardship of Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson, the two title rivals dominated English football with the two clubs sharing the top-flight trophy for nigh-on a decade.

Club captains Vieira and Keane typified the tough-tackling central midfield role, with the pair famously coming to blows in the Highbury tunnel in 2005.

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While there was no love lost between Vieira and Keane during their playing days both have since buried the hatchet – and even share an ice cream from time to time. But the Frenchman still couldn't resist having a pop at his old rival when taking part in BT Sport's What I Wore series.

When presented with one of Keane's United shirts, Vieira joked: "That's why I put my hand in my pocket, I don't want to [touch] the shirt."

HAVE YOUR SAY! Who was the better player, Keane or Vieira? Let us know in the comments section.

However, the Palace boss did also admit he had "massive respect" for Keane as Arsenal captain and knew it would be a battle every time the Gunners faced Man Utd: "From the first game [against Keane], I knew straight away that it will be a fight in every single game.

"So, I loved the way he was on the field, it was massive respect. And he was a leader, he was the captain of the team, he was the one who was driving the team and the players to compete at the level he was, challenging the players.

"I admire him as a captain, and I knew that would be one of the battles to try to win when you're on the pitch." But when quizzed over who the better player was, Vieira still maintains he held the edge over Keane.

"Much better," he continued with a sly grin. "I would say much better, yes."

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