Roy Keane admitted in his auto-biography that if the two of them were to engage in a fight, it would be Vieira who would emerge on the top. The Frenchman believes that Roy Keane is correct but said that the Irishman wouldn’t go down before putting up a strong fight.
“No I haven’t read it, but I have heard a lot about it. If there was a fight, it would take a long time to beat him and I would end up with a few cuts. I don’t think he would give up easily!”
Talking about Roy Keane’s new book, in which he has torn into former manager Ferguson, Vieira believes that he is not surprised with the content of the book.
“I’m not surprised at all about how honest he has been in the book. That’s because the way he wrote the book is the way he was as a player.”
“He’s not the kind of person to go halfway – he’s either everything or nothing. I think the book is him.”
Talking about the documentary the duo did together, Vieira revealed that it was their mutual respect and admiration that brought the old rivals together.
“We had similar qualities as players. We were both determined, we wanted to win, and we were both leaders of our teams. That’s why I always loved to play against him.”
“I got a call from ITV asking me if I wanted to do the documentary and I said ‘yes’, because I knew he would do it. Despite the rivalry, there has always been respect between us. We challenged ourselves, we battled, but we always retained respect for each other.”
“At that time, Arsenal were building up a great team to challenge United, who were up there already. Maybe United and Roy weren’t used to that kind of challenge.”
“Our rivalry at that time was more with United than it was with Tottenham. It was good, but I don’t miss playing now, because I played for a long time and I couldn’t do it any more.”
Talking about Manchester City, Patrick Vieira believes that Pellegrini’s team will hold out against Chelsea and retain the Premier League. However he is not dismissing other teams and believes that there are a lot of contenders for England’s number one position.
“We’ve had some up and downs, but I think the best is yet to come from our team, because when you look at our players and the squad we have, it’s one of the best in Europe. I’m sure we’ll challenge in all of the competitions. If you look at the first few games, you’d say the title is between City and Chelsea.”
“But people with more experience will believe Arsenal can still be there, Liverpool also, despite a bad start, because of what they did last season.”
“I think what will make it really exciting is that I believe five or six clubs will be up there, challenging at the top. We still have a really good chance of qualifying for the Champions League knockout stage. We haven’t started well with the defeat at Bayern Munich and the draw at home to Roma.”
“But we’re still capable of going to Rome and winning, and beating Bayern at home. I still believe we’ll qualify – I’m sure that we will. It was a similar start last season. There are still a lot of points on the table. Yes, it will be difficult for us, but it will also be difficult for Bayern and Roma.”
It now remains to be seen if City can manage to make it to the knock-out stages of the Champions League having been grouped together with Bayern Munich, AS Roma and CSKA Moscow.