Man United legend Roy Keane vowed to ‘smash’ Cesc Fabregas in 2005 FA Cup final

Cesc Fabregas has recalled leaving Roy Keane furious after flying into the Manchester United legend during the 2005 FA Cup final.

Fabregas helped Arsenal get the better of United in the Cardiff showpiece, with Arsene Wenger’s side prevailing on penalties following a goalless draw after 120 minutes.

Keane’s famous rivalry with Vieira was one of the biggest talking points heading into the final, and it was the latter who swept home the winning spot-kick on the day.

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However, during the game it was Fabregas who riled the United captain up most.

Cesc Fabregas has recalled leaving Roy Keane furious during Arsenal’s 2005 FA Cup final win

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In an interview with The Times, the Spanish midfielder revealed compatriot and fellow Barcelona academy graduate Gerard Pique – who was playing for United at the time – later told him that Keane had threatened to ‘smash’ him following crunching first-half tackle.     

‘I tackled Roy Keane really hard and I felt really good about it because he was always giving me a tough time,’ Fabregas said.

‘A few years later, Gerard said to me that at half-time Keane said, “That Spanish friend of yours, I will smash him, he killed me.”‘

Fabregas lifted his first FA Cup at the Millennium Stadium, which proved his only trophy as an Arsenal player.

Fabregas helped Arsenal get the better of Manchester United in the 2005 Cardiff showpiece

Keane’s rivalry with Patrick Vieira was a big talking point heading into the game, but it was Fabregas who riled the United captain up most

After spending another six years at the club, he secured a dream move back to Barcelona in 2011 and won the Spanish title before heading back to England to sign for Chelsea.

It was there where the former Gunner got his hands on another FA Cup, coming out on top in the 2018 final against United once more.

Fabregas also opened up on his FA Cup final battle with Keane during a 2020 chat with The Telegraph, insisting he had not intentionally laid a heavy challenge on the Irishman.

‘It was 50/50 and I must have caught him with my knee in his quad. I got him a little bit,’ he said.

A few years later, the Spaniard discovered Keane was left furious with him during the game

‘At half-time, he went to Pique and started shouting at him because he knew we were friends.

‘[There was] a bit of swearing. I can’t say the exact words but it was fun.’

After leaving Chelsea in January 2019, Fabregas moved to current club Monaco and has so far racked up 68 appearances.  

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Read more:

  • Cesc Fàbregas: I¿m not finished as a player yet but when I¿m a coach I will retain my old-school values | Sport | The Times
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