Wednesday 20 March 2019

Roy Keane regrets not moving to Real Madrid after receiving offer while on the toilet

Roy Keane had the chance to join Real Madrid
Roy Keane had the chance to join Real Madrid

Roy Keane was in a very strange position when he received a call from former Real Madrid sporting director Emilio Butragueno.

Butragueno rang the Corkman while he sat on a toilet in 2005, after he had left Manchester United, to offer him a chance to play at the Bernabeu after his agent Michael Kennedy had facilitated the call.

In the latest extract from 'The Second Half' , Keane said: "Michael had given me a heads-up that Emilio Butragueno would be phoning, so I took my mobile phone everywhere with me.

"And - how's your luck - he rang me while I was sitting on the toilet.

"He said: "Look Roy, we'll be glad to have you." The club's board just had to sanction the deal."

Keane opted to move to Glasgow to play for Celtic but managed just 13 appearances and retired after one season on medical advice.

He believes he was too hasty to turn down the Spanish giants and it could have prolonged his career.

"I should have appreciated Real's offer more. It was the most attractive challenge in front of me but I didn't accept it," he writes.

"In hindsight, I should have said to myself: 'Go, go to Spain, live there for a year and a half, learn the language, learn the culture.'

"I took a negative approach. The weather and the training might have given me another lease of life, another two years of playing.

"As much as anything else, it was fear that decided me - fear of the unknown."

Keane wouldn't have been happy to make up the numbers at the Spanish capital: "It's no good playing for a club, it's about having a big influence.

"Real Madrid might just have wanted someone to do a job, sit in the middle of the park for a few games. But I wanted to go in and have an effect on a team."

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