Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic has revealed a longstanding admiration for Old Trafford legend and former captain Roy Keane that extends back to when Matic was a child at home in Serbia and was first getting into football.
The United #31 will come into contact with Keane on Tuesday as Matic's Serbia take on the Republic of Ireland in a World Cup qualifier in Dublin, for whom Keane is assistant manager.
"Everybody knows that Roy Keane is a legend of Manchester United - he was a very important player for a long time," Matic is quoted as saying by Sky Sports ahead of the game.
"When I was young and started to follow football, he was at his best at Manchester and was one of the best midfielders in the league. I tried to take something from lots of players to improve myself and of course Roy Keane was one of those players," the former Chelsea man added.
"He's a legend in Manchester and I'll be happy to see him and have a chat. I'm happy that I play at the same club that he played."
Matic has regularly spoken very positively about United since his high profile transfer from Chelsea was completed at the end of July and he has been quickly accepted by fans after several excellent early performances, despite an initial apathy towards his arrival.
No doubt his glowing comments about Keane and his importance to the history of the club will serve to endear the 28-year-old to United fans even more.