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Roy Keane celebrates with Paul Scholes after his goal against Panathinaikos in 2000.
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'I hope Roy and Martin O'Neill can turn it around for Ireland' - Paul Scholes
The former Manchester United midfielder told Off the Ball he was privileged to play alongside Keane.

PAUL SCHOLES’ FAMILY connections always meant he kept an eye on Ireland’s footballing results but the former Manchester United midfielder now has further reason to root for the Boys in Green.

Scholes, who is one of the main subjects of the Class of ’92 documentary, has grandparents from the Emerald Isle and played alongside Irish footballers such as Roy Keane, John O’Shea and Liam Miller.

Scholes told Off The Ball about his admiration for Keane and expressed a desire that his former United teammate will thrive as assistant to Ireland manager Martin O’Neill.

“I hope they do well,” said Scholes. “My grandparents are from Ireland so I like to look out for their results. I know a couple of their players. I know John O’Shea a long time. It’s a country that you like to see doing well. I hope that Roy and Martin O’Neill can turn it around and get them qualified for a major tournament.”

Scholes rejected the suggestion, made by Keane himself, that he did not have a great game in the European Cup semi-final win over Juventus in 1999 — a performance that drove United into their first final in 32 years.

“He was unbelievable in that semi-final,” said Scholes. “He was our best player by a million miles. His header got us back into the game when we were 2-0 down. He really carried us through to that final.

He had the disappointment [after his yellow card] of knowing he was not going to be able to play but still, he drove the team on and made sure they got through to the final that night. He deservedly got a lot of plaudits for that game.”

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He added, “[Roy] was incredible as a leader, captain and player. He was someone that every one of us looked up to. We were lucky enough to be part of some of his teams.”

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