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Highlights on Off The Ball


The skill that Roy Keane and Zinedine Zidane shared

What skill did Roy Keane and Zinedine Zidane share?

Former Ireland captain Kenny Cunningham joined The Football Show to discuss Roy Keane.

Roy Keane spent an uncomfortable time on the Tommy Tiernan show this weekend.

Tiernan enjoyed the full Keane experience as he attempted to explore the former Ireland manager's personal life. But while these days Keane has become as much of a media personality as he is a former footballer, there was a time that he was legitimately one of the best players in the world.

For Ireland to produce a player of his calibre is rare.

And more often than not, when Keane is discussed in these terms, he's considered as a motivational player. An engine in the middle of the field who gave the team character and pushed everyone to success. What doesn't get discussed as often is Keane's technical skill set.

During The Football Show on Tuesday night, Kenny Cunningham and Joe Molloy discussed Zinedine Zidane in the context of the best footballers ever. And that led to a surprising comparison between Zidane and Keane.

"Roy was like that in terms of first touch," Cunningham said.

"Roy talks himself down technically, there were players at Manchester United he wasn't like. But Roy's first touch was unbelievable...Zidane could dance with the ball. He could dance with the ball and drop the shoulder to just manipulate defenders.

"Roy probably didn't have that at that level as good as he was."

Zidane was an attacking midfielder who could also play wide or in a free role. Keane was a central midfielder so their profiles as players were always different. Still, you don't hear much discussion of Keane's technical abilities. Part of that is his own reluctance to discuss them and his often oversimplified outlook on the game.

It doesn't take long to watch some highlights to see that Cunningham is right though.

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Manchester United Real Madrid Roy Keane Zinedine Zidane