Keane decries the list-making mentality of United Opus

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The Independent Online

At a time when friends and family are often anxious for clues as to festive stocking-fillers, Roy Keane dropped a hint that the new £3,000-a-copy tome on Manchester United is something he might not welcome on Christmas morning.

It's not that the Old Trafford legend has anything against the staggering price-tag of the 850-page leather-bound "Bible" launched this week to great acclaim. What riles the former midfielder who made almost 500 appearances during a 12-year career is the temerity of contributors to the Manchester United Opus in their attempts to rank the club's 50 all-time "greats".

"Who in their right mind can say who the best Manchester United player is?" he said. "A book? What's the point of this book and how much is it? It'll be something else next week."

Keane's ire can hardly be put down to sour grapes, seeing as the 35-year old was only topped by Sir Bobby Charlton and George Best. Duncan Edwards, Denis Law, Bryan Robson and Eric Cantona trail in his wake, but for the Irishman, that is missing the point.

"How can you say one player's better than another, how can you?" he said. "It's a team game. I'm not arguing with Sir Bobby, he's a fantastic player but I'm so against all that nonsense anyway because I believe no one player is more important than the others. There are players over the years, unsung heroes."

Despite his reservations, Keane admits the book's 9,500 copies will no doubt quickly find their way into welcoming homes, and he added: "It's great for arguments in pubs and discussions, different United fans have different opinions about players.

"But how can you say Roy Keane's better than Denis Law? Or Duncan Edwards, or Bryan Robson, Kanchelskis, Bruce, Pallister, Giggs? It's ridiculous."

Not that Keane expects a well-heeled friend or family member to help him add to his personal library with the four-and-a-half stone literary and pictorial colossus, which would, no doubt, have to be accompanied by a new reinforced coffee table on which to showcase its charms. He added: "Do I think someone might have bought me the book for Christmas? Not for three grand. I don't get any presents for three grand."

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