Andy Cole picked out the best two players he ever played with and chose Roy Keane as one of them
Andy Cole has hailed Roy Keane as one of the best two players he played with during his goal-laden career, as he insisted his qualities extended beyond his role as a leader in the relentlessly successful Manchester United teams of the 1990s.
Captain Keane and lead striker Cole were pivotal to some of United's finest triumphs under manager Alex Ferguson, with duo playing a central role in the club's historic treble-winning season of 1999 that included an iconic performance from the United skipper in the Champions League semi-final against Juventus in Turin.
When asked by Sky Sports to identify the two best players he competed again, the striker who sits third in the all-time top scorers list of the Premier League era behind Alan Shearer and Wayne Rooney suggested Keane and Paul Scholes should claim top honours.
"The best player I played with is a tough one. It is a toss-up between Roy and Scholesy. Two very different players, but two fantastic players," stated Cole.
"Never mind just his leadership qualities because as a player, Roy was top, top drawer. We all remember the game at Juventus and his performance there, but that was just one of them.
"He was an individual that you would always want to have by your side when you played football, definitely."
Cole also touched on Keane's infamous temperament, as he reflected on a night when Gary Neville was on the receiving end of a volley of abuse from his skipper in a game against Coventry at Highfield Road.
"You know Roy, at the best of times he had a very short fuse," he recalled of a story that may well be elaborated on by Neville on his next appearance on Sky Sports Monday Night Football. "He didn't hold back and he let Gary know that on that evening."
Cole also gave his thoughts on the current Manchester United team, as he urged his former team-mate Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to hand Marcus Rashford a key role in his plans now that he has been confirmed as the club's permanent manager.
"Rashford has got all of the ability in the world but you could tell his confidence was waning under the previous manager, it was getting lower and lower," added Cole.
"Ole has gone in there and said to him 'we all know how good you are, just believe in yourself', and he's done that. When Rashford first came into the team we all knew what he could do. He kind of went away from that a little but now he's back doing what he's good at.
"You've got to build your team around the local boys, I was fortunate to do that in my time at Manchester United. Rashford will be one of the mainstays at the football club."