While there are a fair number of people who come in for criticism in Roy Keane’s latest autobiography, the Manchester United legend has nothing but praise for former teammate Ruud Van Nistelrooy.
Arriving at United from PSV Eindhoven in the summer of 2001 for £19 million, Van Nistelrooy would go on to score a remarkable 150 goals in 219 total appearances for the club, before a fallout with Sir Alex Ferguson resulted in his £10.2 million departure to Real Madrid in July 2006.
Having lined up alongside him until his own controversial departure in November 2005, Keane has hailed the Dutchman as 'the best finisher ever' in his new book, The Second Half, and expressed his shock at his now infamous penalty miss in the 0-0 Premier League draw with Arsenal back in September 2003, later dubbed “the Battle of Old Trafford”.
‘I would never have expected Ruud Van Nistelrooy to miss a penalty. Because Ruud Van Nistelrooy was brilliant,’ he wrote.
‘There was a Champions League game last season, United played Bayern Munich and Danny Welbeck went through, one on one with the keeper. He missed it. Ruud Van Nistelrooy wouldn’t have.
‘Ruud was the best finisher, ever, but especially in one on one situations, just the keeper to beat. When Ruud was going through one on one, I never doubted him. Some players would be going, “******* hell – hard and low? Or dink it over?”, but when Ruud was through there might as well have been no goalkeeper.’