Roy Keane named Eric Cantona and Paul Scholes among five world class players he shared the field with during his illustrious Manchester United career.
The legendary former Red Devils captain was speaking before United’s home fixture against Arsenal on Monday night, which eventually ended in a 1-1 draw.
Keane, who played for the club between 1993 and 2005, winning seven Premier League titles, four League Cups and one Champions League trophy, failed to include Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney among his chosen players, although he has previously explained he always knew Ronaldo would eventually become world class.
“If I look back now, you’d have to class Giggsy,” he told Sky Sports.
“I always class the world class players as lads who were doing it for nine, 10, 11 [years] – obviously Giggsy’s done it for a lot longer. To me, that’s the key to being a really good player: you’ve got to be consistent.
“We see players now, they’ve having a good month and patting themselves on the back. You have to be good for years and years, and Giggsy would have been a prime example.”
Mark Hughes also made the cut and Keane described both Cantona and Scholes as ‘brilliant’.
“Me and Scholsey had a good relationship and I played with loads of players but if I had to pick [my best midfield partner], it would be Scholes.
“Scholes would go forward, I would sit and vice versa. I always enjoyed playing with him and the same with Paul Ince.”
The final mention was reserved for his fellow countryman and former United full-back Denis Irwin.
“My God, imagine if Denis Irwin was playing now,” Keane added.
“He could play left-back, right-back, get you a goal, knew how to defend, never injured, a brilliant guy in the dressing room. Denis would be world-class to me – and he’s a Corkman!”
Roy Keane top five team-mates
Mark Hughes – Striker
Eric Cantona – Striker
Paul Scholes – Midfield
Ryan Giggs – Midfield
Denis Irwin – Defender