Although a star defender at Barcelona these days, a young Gerard Pique found himself to be an upcoming talent at Manchester United. Having left his homeland for Old Trafford for a short stint of four years, the Spaniard learned quite a bit from the Red Devils.
But apart from technical ability, he certainly learned what happens when a ringing phone and Roy Keane are in the same room.
The former United captain, who has taken to managerial duties as of recent, was at the center of an absurd incident, where he lashed out at a reporter when his phone rang during a press conference back when the Irishman was at Ipswich.
And now, in an interview with The Players’ Tribune, Pique has revealed what happened when he was a youngster at United and a phone went off: “One of my very first matches at Old Trafford, we were in the dressing room getting ready, and I was nervous as hell.
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“So we’re sitting there waiting for the gaffer (Sir Alex Ferguson) to come in and speak to us, and I’m literally sitting right next to Roy Keane. The dressing room is so small that our legs are almost touching. There’s no space at all.”
And as fate would have it, the following occurs: “It’s dead quiet. All of a sudden, you could hear this little vibration. Very soft. Roy is looking around the room. I realize it’s me. It’s my cell phone. I left it on vibrate, and it’s in the pocket of my pants, stuffed in the clothes bag that’s hanging right behind Roy’s head.
“Roy can’t find where the noise is coming from. Now he’s looking around the room like a maniac. His eyes are darting everywhere, and he’s trying to figure it out.”
Pique certainly didn’t leave much to the imagination as he continues: “You know the famous scene with Jack Nicholson in The Shining when he bursts through the door? That’s what he looked like.
“He screams out to everybody, ‘Whose phone is that?!’. Silence. He asks again. Silence. He asks a third time. ‘Whose. Bloody. F*****g. Phone. Is. That?!’ Finally, I spoke up, like a little boy. Very softly, I said, ‘I’m so sorry. It’s mine.’”
What happened next seems predictable in view of our present knowledge: “Roy lost his mind! He went nuts in front of everybody! It was incredible. I almost s**t myself. But it was a good lesson.
“Now, in 2018, everything is different. All these kids are on their iPhones before the matches. But back then, in 2006? It was a different world. You didn’t do that. Especially not at United. Not in Roy’s dressing room. It was one of a thousand mistakes that I made when I was at United.”