Last updated : 26 January 2003 By Editor
He may be one of the most hated visitors to Old Trafford but Roy Keane still thinks he's the best in Britain. Despite the red card he received for trying to grab him round the neck last season.

Keane said: "I've had run-ins with him but that's football. It doesn't take anything away from what I think of him as a player.

"I don't know him as a person but, as a player, you'd have to say he's been the best in England - maybe Europe - over the last 10 years.

"Especially when you think of the injuries he's had, the goals he's got and the all-round package - he's been great. I just wish he'd come here. It was a pity he never came here."

So who does Keano think is the best?

"Growing up, I'd say Maradona. But it's easier talking about players you've played with or against.

"I'd say Zidane is up there and Rivaldo was outstanding when I played against him.

"People think I have a problem with Alan Shearer but I don't and I think he's an outstanding player. Those would be my top three. Hopefully, that's not disrespectful to others."

Meanwhile Keane's International career could be over according to the Guardian as The FAI look set to install Brian Kerr as their new coach.

Ireland's youth team coach, Brian Kerr, will be named this week to succeed Mick McCarthy as manager of the Republic's national side.

His appointment means that Roy Keane, who is thought to have backed Bryan Robson's candidature for the post, is unlikely ever to play for Ireland again. Kerr, 49, was considered a rank outsider to take over when McCarthy quit in controversial circumstances last November.

But he defied the odds - which tumbled from 25-1 to 2-5 in recent weeks - and overcame higher profile hopefuls like Robson, Peter Reid, Kevin Moran, Frank Stapleton, John Aldridge and the former Japan manager, Phillipe Troussier, to clinch the job.

A Dubliner, he is the first home-based Ireland coach since Eoin Hand, who stepped down in 1985. Yesterday Hand welcomed the appointment, maintaining it was an astute move by the FAI. 'This way we get to link the development of the domestic game in Ireland with the national senior squad,' he said. 'Brian understands the ethos of Irish football and with his capacity for hard work, I've no doubt he'll get results.'