Former Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy has taken a pop at former adversary Martin Keown by questioning his intelligence.
The pair wrote their names into Premier League history with that incident 13 years ago during Arsenal’s unbeaten season. Van Nistelrooy’s penalty miss against the Gunners led Keown and several team-mates to push and jump on the Dutchman in celebration.
Speaking at the Oxford Union, Van Nistelrooy was reminded of the incident when he was informed that Keown lives in the city. The MC for the night asked the former Dutch international what would happen if he bumped into him again. Van Nistelrooy quipped: “He’d probably jump all over me again.”
He then poked fun at Keown by stating: “I thought you had to be clever to live around here.”
Van Nistelrooy told the Union that he didn’t pay any attention to the furore around the classic clash in the 2003-4 season until he got home that evening. His penalty miss was just part of a fiery 0-0 encounter which also saw Patrick Vieira get sent off.
He said: “Loads of stuff happened after the penalty and I wasn’t really aware, as weird as it sounds, because I was so disappointed to have missed the penalty.”
The 39-year-old added: “I couldn’t care less what they were doing.” His speech to the Oxford Union actually happened last November, but has only surfaced today on video.
Keown was a little more subdued recently in his comments on the incident. He admitted that he over-reacted.
They don’t make Premier League feuds like that anymore.
Van Nistelrooy retired in 2012, having played for Real Madrid, Hamburg and Malaga following his transfer out of United in 2006. He is now assistant manager of the Dutch national side to Danny Blind, the father of United midfielder Daley Blind, having also coached the youth team at PSV Eindhoven.
Loaded sports writer Pearse Corcoran has covered news, sport and entertainment for several national newspapers and radio stations in Ireland. Follow him on Twitter at @PearseCorcoran