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With nearly 500 appearances for Manchester United and 17 trophies under his belt, Roy Keane is synonymous with the golden era at Old Trafford that saw the club dominate English football for over a decade.

Signed by Alex Ferguson from Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest for a then British record transfer fee of £3.75 million, Keane went on to win seven Premier League titles, four FA Cups and the Champions League, becoming one of the most decorated players in the history of the game.

Retiring in 2006 after a brief spell at Celtic, the Irishman has enjoyed successful spells in management at Sunderland AFC and Ipswich Town and is also one of the most respected pundits on our television screens with his forthright views and insightful analysis.

On a recent visit to UCFB Etihad Campus as part of the LMA Insight Series, Keane spoke with students about his role as a pundit and the changing media landscape in the game.

“It’s huge, the coverage now for players, with social media and the amount of live games,” he said. “Every pundit is an expert now, which puts a lot of pressure on the managers and the players. But it’s all part of the game, it’s something everyone has got to get used to. I was always comfortable with it when I started playing - media commitments in your contract are part of the package of being a professional footballer or coach so there’s no getting away from it. You’ve got to roll with it and get used to it, it’s not going anywhere.”

Discussing his move into the media and his experience as a pundit, the former Republic of Ireland and Nottingham Forest Assistant Manager explained: “I first started doing one or two games for ITV and because you’re used to working with teams, whether as manager, staff or a player, I enjoy that side of it. At the start, I thought I would dip into it to get out of my comfort zone and see what it’s like and I’ve chipped away at it over the last few years.

“I enjoy watching good games. But people sometimes watch me and think ‘he’s a bit serious’, but that’s my job, if they want a comedian they can get somebody else. I’m there to give my professional opinion on a game, and to be fair with what I’m seeing and what I’m watching. I try to be fair on the players and the management."

Keane, who won 67 caps for the Republic of Ireland between 1991 and 2005, also gave an insight on the best player he ever faced during his long career.

“I always had good battles with Patrick Vieira and obviously when Gerrard was coming through and Lampard,” he said. “And 11 v 11s at United I’d be up against Nicky Butt or Scholesy – they were tough opponents. But the best player I played against would have been Zidane. He was a brilliant player, he was big, strong, nasty, he could score goals. He was a tough player to play against, and obviously world class.”