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Roy Keane and Ireland manager Mick McCarthy had a strained relationship. Photo by: entertainment.ie

Roy Keane regrets not playing for Ireland in 2002 World Cup

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Roy Keane and Ireland manager Mick McCarthy had a strained relationship. Photo by: entertainment.ie

New Ireland coach Roy Keane has finally admitted his regret that he never returned to play for his country at the 2002 World Cup after his Saipan bust-up with Mick McCarthy.

Now assistant to Ireland manager Martin O’Neill, Keane made the admission in an ITV documentary.

Asked if there was one thing he would like to do again with Ireland, Keane said, “Play in the World Cup.”

He added, “It would have been nice to play. A lot of people were disappointed, particularly my family.

“Mick McCarthy said to me, ‘If you don’t respect me how can you play for me?’ What I should have said was I wasn’t playing for him I was playing for my country.

“People say I was looking for perfection. I wasn’t. What I was looking for was progress.”

Asked what Ireland meant to him, Keane answered, “Frustration.”

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