Kylian Mbappe and Roy Keane have one thing in common: they both turned down attractive transfers to Real Madrid.
Only Mbappe knows the exact reasons behind his decision to extend his stay at Paris Saint-Germain, however, the incredible salaries and power allegedly offered to him must have played a part.
Keane’s reasons are more complex. Manchester United weren’t begging him to stay as a massive falling out with Sir Alex Ferguson and his assistant Carlos Quieroz led to all parties agreeing a parting ways was the best course of action.
In fact, even other clubs interested in him didn’t show him in the conventional sense, with then-Celtic manager Gordon Strachan apparently not caring too much about whether Keane would sign for him or not.
Keane joined the Scottish giants in December 2005 and it was his conversation with Strachan that turned out to be a masterclass in reverse Scottish psychology.
Keane said in his autobiography ‘The Second Half’: “When a club is interested in you, the manager usually sells it to you: ‘Listen, we’d love to have you here.’
“But I met Gordon Strachan, Celtic manager, in London…and Gordon said to me, ‘I’m not too worried if you sign for us or not. We’re fine without you.
“So I was like, ‘f*** him, I’m signing.’ I think that was one of the reasons I signed for them – to prove Gordon wrong.
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On the other hand, Real Madrid made it clear how much they want him – Keane shed light on the conversation he had with Los Blancos director of football Emilio Butragueno.
“He said, ‘look Roy, we’ll be happy to have you.’ The club’s board only had to approve the deal, it was standard procedure.
However, before the deal was sanctioned, Keane inexplicably changed his mind and said no to the biggest club in the world.
As a proud Irishman, Celtic was a dream move for him. Meanwhile, he was confident he would have more impact at this team than with one of Europe’s biggest clubs aged 34 at the time.
However, he later admitted that the fear of starting a new life in an unfamiliar country played a huge role.
He added: “I should have appreciated Real’s offer more. It was the most attractive challenge available to me…
“I took a negative approach…it could have been great for my kids. Time and practice could have given me another breath of life, two more years of play; I may have learned new techniques for my stretching.
“But instead – as usual – I was looking at what could go wrong. ‘Retrospective’ is the word af*****. At the time, it was the right decision.
“I didn’t want to move to Spain. As much as anything else, it was fear that decided me – fear of the unknown. And I threw excuses in front of me – family, language, raising children.
Keane won a league title and Scottish League Cup at Celtic but retired at the end of the 2005/06 season on medical advice.
Mbappe hopes he won’t have the same regrets for turning down Real Madrid in the coming years.
talkSPORT LIVE – Don’t miss Brazil and Parlor!
Alan Brazil and Ray Parlor wowed audiences across the country this year with their hilarious double act, live on stage.
It’s your last chance to get tickets to the last show of the tour, in Nottingham.
Both have lived their lives to the fullest both during their playing days and afterwards during and after their talkSPORT radio show!
Hear the two legends tell stories from the dressing room, the studio, their playing days, their journeys on international duty… and of course Cheltenham!
The shows will be hosted by talkSPORT’s Shebahn Aherne.
Do not miss a good evening belt. Click on the link HERE to buy your tickets.