Thursday 23 November 2017

Roy Keane hopes Juventus can win European Cup for 'role model' Buffon - and has kind words for Ronaldo too

Aidan Fitzmaurice

Aidan Fitzmaurice

Roy Keane is backing Gianluigi Buffon to triumph in the Champions League this season.

After last night’s 3-0 first leg win for Real Madrid over Atletico, Juventus travel to face Monaco in the other semi-final tonight as Juve keeper Buffon aims to win the trophy for the first time in an otherwise-glittering career. Keane got a medal, but didn’t play due to suspension, when Manchester United triumphed in 1999 and he says he’d love to see the keeper win it.

“What a role model for a young kid playing sport, still playing at the highest level,” Keane said of the 39-year-old stopper.

“I’ve met him once or twice and apart from being a really great sportsman, he comes across as a really decent human being. It would nice for Juve to get to the final and maybe win it for Buffon,” added Keane, predicting a tight tie. “Monaco play off the cuff, they play with that bit of freedom while Juve have the experience.” 

Keane also had high praise for former Man United team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo, who netted a hat-trick in Real Madrid's win last night.

“I was getting a bit older at United, he was only 17, he’d come from Portugal and it was all a new experience for him, a different language but he embraced it. Everyone around the dressing room tried to help him out, of course and you’ve got to help yourself, but he went on to be one of the game’s most creative players,” Keane said.

“He had a talent but on top of that you have to have a work ethic. Whatever (kids) are going to do, whether you hope to become doctors, nurses, schoolteachers, whatever you decide to do you’ve got to give it the best that you can and that’s why I enjoy watching the likes of Ronaldo because I was lucky enough to play with him and see the hard work that he’s put into it. And hard work with a bit of talent can get you a long way.

“Desire is a good word to use, it doesn’t have to be about football. Whatever you want to do in life, you have to have that bit of hunger, the desire to do well in life; not everyone can play sports or football but whatever career you decide to have have that bit of desire, a bit of hunger, that’s one the things that enables the great players to make a difference in the big games, the they’ve been doing it for years and I never get fed up of watching players like Messi, they are top players.”

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