Roy Keane leaves Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand out of his biggest Manchester United XI

Roy Keane has left former teammates Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand out of his biggest Manchester United XI of the Premier League era.

Keane, 50, captained United during the club’s most successful period in history, winning seven Premier League titles and the Champions League in 13 trophy-rich seasons at Old Trafford.

Ahead of Monday’s Premier League match between United and Brentford, Keane was asked to pick his best United XI of the modern era.

In goal, Keane selected Peter Schmeichel ahead of Edwin van der Sar and David De Gea, despite claiming that the fiery Dane was “not as good” as everyone thought.

He then chose Dennis Irwin as left-back and Gary Neville as right-back, before naming Jaap Stam and Gary Pallister as his favorite center-back duo.

Explaining his decision to choose Pallister over the likes of Ferdinand, Steve Bruce and Nemanja Vidic, Keane said on Sky Sports: “The other was a problem, but I went with Gary Pallister. Brucey was a brilliant player but you have to leave someone out.

Roy Keane’s Manchester United XI from the Premier League era

“Rio was obviously a good athlete and read the game well, but my relationship with Pally was also pretty good.

“Some United guys go out of their way to help you. Obviously he was a very good player. He always seemed exhausted, but I would have kept him there.”

Keane modestly chose to leave the squad, instead selecting former United captain Bryan Robson in midfield.

“Robson has to go in there. Bryan was a great player for Manchester United, full of courage and scored some great goals for Manchester United when the club were not at their best,” added Keane.

Keane had loads of talent to choose from in midfield (Image: Sky Sports)
Keane had loads of talent to choose from in midfield (Image: Sky Sports)

Surprisingly, Keane then selected Paul Ince to pair Robson in central midfield, snubbing former teammate Paul Scholes.

“Incey was a great player, maybe he tarnished his United reputation with him playing for Liverpool or whatever,” added Keane.

“There is a lot of talk about Incey being the ‘Guv’nor’ and that was held against him, but they were just jokes. There was no meanness in that. Incey was a really good teammate and I thought he was a very good player.

“It was difficult to leave Scholesy and out [Nicky] Ass, brilliant players and brilliant characters. But I just thought that Incey in the first season I was there, when we won the doubles, he was brilliant in midfield.

Keane left Scholes and Ferdinand out of his United XI (Image: PA)
Keane left Scholes and Ferdinand out of his United XI (Image: PA)

“He was a good teammate to have beside you in the trenches.”

Keane completed his midfield with Ryan Giggs on the left wing and David Beckham on the right.

And up front, he named Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo as his two forwards, leaving out the likes of Eric Cantona, Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke and Ruud van Nistelrooy.

Do you agree with Keane’s Manchester United XI? Let us know your thoughts.

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