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Roy Keane: Missing 2002 World Cup is biggest regret of my career

By Daniel McDonnell

Published 11/12/2013

The Republic's preparations for the 2002 World Cup were a shambles, brought on by of all people, their captain, Roy Keane
The Republic's preparations for the 2002 World Cup were a shambles, brought on by of all people, their captain, Roy Keane

Roy Keane has admitted his regret at missing out on the 2002 World Cup and suggested that he should have put his personal issues with Mick McCarthy to one side for the sake of the country.

The Ireland assistant manager opened up on the topic in the ITV4 documentary detailing his relationship with Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira.


When asked about things he would change from his career, Keane referenced the Saipan debacle.


"To play in the World Cup. It would have been nice to play," said Keane. "A lot of people were disappointed, particularly my family.


"Mick (McCarthy) did say to me that, 'If you don't respect me, how can you play for me?' What I should have said was, I wasn't playing for him, I was playing for my country -- but I think it had obviously gone then."


Keane, who spent large parts of the programme detailing his grievances with his former ally Alex Ferguson, again stressed his issues with Ireland's preparations for the tournament.


"I just felt we needed to change our attitudes a little bit, at least prepare as well as the Germans and the Brazilians. Why not prepare as well as them?" he said.


"People always thought I was looking for perfection, far from it. What I was looking for was progress."


Keane opened the segment on his international career by suggesting that 'frustration' comes to mind if he is asked what his time with Ireland meant to him.

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