'I don't remember what happened next' - Ex-Man United defender on receiving a haymaker from Roy Keane
Gabriel Heinze has revealed how he was 'knocked out' by a Roy Keane punch during a heated dressing room confrontation during their time as Manchester United teammates.
Keane made it clear that he was not a fan of Heinze in his autobiography and it appears their fractious relationship boiled over in spectacular fashion after one disappointing performance.
Heinze told the story to Argentina television, with the end result all too predictable.
"We lost a game and I went in the dressing room first and Roy Keane was second," stated Heinze. "I liked to go first after the game. I didn't want to speak to anyone as we lost.
"I didn't understand English, just the bad words. I heard my name and 'f*** off' by Roy Keane, the best player.
"I knew that was bad so I stood up to him, this idol of Manchester, this great guy who everyone loved, and replied: 'F*** off, you'.
"I don’t remember what happened next."
Heinze went to confirm he had been knocked out by a Keane haymaker, which served as a timely reminder that the Irishman was not a man to cross.
Heinze was not alone in failing to strike up a warm bond with Keane at Old Trafford, with the Irishman making less than complimentary comments about the Argentine defender in his autobiography.
"He was a nasty f***** – nasty in training," stated Keane.
"We were playing Spurs at home the next day, and we'd always have light training the day before a home game. But it got a bit nasty and it ended up with myself and Gabby having a few tackles on each other.
"He kneed me on the side of my leg and, being the hero that I am, I kept my mouth shut. I didn't want to go in for treatment, but I was in agony."
Keane is continuing to do his best to avoid making friends in his coaching career, with his fiery spells in charge of Sunderland and Ipswich followed by his confession last weekend that he avoids too much contact with Ireland players in his role as assistant manager to Martin O'Neill with the national team.
Assistant managers tend to provide a buffer between the players and the head coach, but Keane has never followed convention and instead does things in his own inimitable way.
As Gabriel Heinze will confirm, crossing this firebrand sporting champion can be painful.t