Gerard Pique has compared Roy Keane to Jack Nicholson in “The Shining” following their time together at Manchester United.
And he admits he almost “s*** himself” after a changing room bust-up with the legendary skipper while at Old Trafford.
The Barcelona defender joined United’s youth set-up as a fresh-faced 17-year-old back in 2004.
His stay at Old Trafford saw him make just 12 appearances under Sir Alex Ferguson before heading back to the Catalans four years later.
He has gone on to become one of the world’s best central defenders, winning six La Liga titles and three Champions League crowns in 268 appearances at the Nou Camp.
But Pique’s spell at Old Trafford was far from pleasant, and the Spaniard revealed how he received some rough treatment from the former Red Devils captain.
Writing in the Players’ Tribune, he said: “One of my very first matches at Old Trafford, we were in the dressing room getting ready, and I was nervous as hell.
“Imagine it – I’m 18 years old, and I’m sitting in that little dressing room putting on my socks next to Ruud van Nistelrooy and Ryan Giggs and Rio Ferdinand.
“I wanted to be invisible. I was thinking, ‘Just do your job and go unnoticed’.
“So we’re sitting there waiting for the gaffer to come in and speak to us, and I’m literally sitting right next to Roy Keane.
“The dressing room is so small that our legs are almost touching. There’s no space at all.
“It’s dead quiet. All of a sudden, you could hear this little vibration. Very soft.
“Roy is looking around the room. Oh, s**t.
“I realise it’s me. It’s my cell phone. I left it on vibrate, and it’s in the pocket of my pants, stuffed in the clothes bag that’s hanging right behind Roy’s head.
“Roy can’t find where the noise is coming from. Now he’s looking around the room like a maniac. His eyes are darting everywhere, and he’s trying to figure it out.
“You know the famous scene with Jack Nicholson in The Shining, when he bursts through the door? That’s what he looked like.
“He screams out to everybody, ‘Whose phone is that?’ Silence.
“He asks again. Silence.
Players with most European Cup/Champions League titles
Paco Gento: Real Madrid (6) — 1955-56, 1956-57, 1957-58, 1958-59, 1959-60, 1965-66
Paolo Maldini: AC Milan (5) — 1988-89, 1989-90, 1993-94, 2002-03, 2006-07
Alessandro Costacurta: AC Milan (5) — 1988-89, 1989-90, 1993-94, 2002-03, 2006-07
Alfredo Di Stefano: Real Madrid (5) — 1955-56, 1956-57, 1957-58, 1958-59, 1959-60
Cristiano Ronaldo: Manchester United, Real Madrid (4) — 2007-08, 2013-14, 2015-16, 2016-17
Andres Iniesta: Barcelona (4) — 2005-06, 2008-09, 2010-11, 2014-15
Xavi: Barcelona (4) — 2005-06, 2008-09, 2010-11, 2014-15
Lionel Messi: Barcelona (4) — 2005-06, 2008-09, 2010-11, 2014-15
Gerard Pique: Manchester United, Barcelona (4) — 2007-08, 2008-09, 2010-11, 2014-15
Clarence Seedorf: Ajax, Real Madrid, AC Milan x2 (4) — 1994-95, 1997-98, 2002-03, 2006-07
Phil Neal: Liverpool (4) — 1976-77, 1977-78, 1980-81 1983-84
*Bold denotes Champions League era
“He asks a third time, ‘Whose. Bloody. F*****g. Phone. Is. That?’.
“Finally, I spoke up, like a little boy. Very softly, I said, ‘I’m so sorry. It’s mine’. Roy put his arm around me, and he laughed, and he told me not to worry about it.
“No, come on, of course I’m joking. Roy lost his mind. He went nuts in front of everybody. It was incredible. I almost s*** myself. But it was a good lesson.”
Pique admits that times have changed since he was at United, with social media increasingly common in modern day dressing rooms.
Current stars under Jose Mourinho such as Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are renowned for their Snapchat and Instagram stories before and after games.
But the 31-year-old has admitted that would not be tolerated in Keane’s era.
He added: “Now, in 2018, everything is different. All these kids are on their iPhones before the matches.
“But back then, in 2006? It was a different world. You didn’t do that. Especially not at United.
“Not in Roy’s dressing room. It was one of a thousand mistakes that I made when I was at United.”
To read Spain and Barcelona defender Gerard Piqué’s inaugural post on The Players’ Tribune, ‘A Long Story’, in full, please visit: https://www.theplayerstribune.com/en-us/articles/gerard-pique-a-long-story.
The Players’ Tribune connects players with fans through the power of storytelling and has today announced its global expansion in partnership with Pique.
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