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Paul Kimmage's interview with Roy Keane as an Irish soccer storm brewed in Saipan

The following is Paul Kimmage's Sunday Independent interview with Roy Keane which was conducted before the Ireland skipper's row with Mick McCarthy and his exit from the 2002 World Cup

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Roy Keane and Mick McCarthy fell out before the 2002 World Cup. Photo: SPORTSFILE

Roy Keane and Mick McCarthy fell out before the 2002 World Cup. Photo: SPORTSFILE

Roy Keane and Mick McCarthy fell out before the 2002 World Cup. Photo: SPORTSFILE

In March of 2001, a few days before his monumental performance against Cyprus, I pressed the stop button of my tape recorder after a two-hour interview with Roy Keane.

There was one more item on my agenda. A few months earlier I'd heard a rumour he was considering writing a book and I wanted to throw my hat in the ring. "I don't care if the deal is already done," I said, "I just want you to know I would kill to do it."

My hat wasn't quite big enough but I meant every word: I'd have given just about anything to have spent six months trawling through the crevices of that fascinating head.