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Football has changed: Ex-Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic hits back at Roy Keane

Nemanja Matic hits back at Roy Keane after departing Manchester United

Former Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic has hit back at Roy Keane’s criticism following his departure from Old Trafford last season.

Matic left United when his contract expired at the end of last season and secured a move to AS Roma, where he reunited with his former boss Jose Mourinho.

The duo had worked together at Chelsea and United before Matic sought a move to Rome when regular playing time proved hard to come by in Manchester.

Before his departure, Matic declared his love for both United and Chelsea, but it did not sit well with the Red Devils legend, who questioned the Serbian’s commitment to the club.

Keane said: “Where’re the standards at the club? Where’s the desire to keep going, keep going until the end?” 

“The players, Matic talking about ‘I’m leaving, I’ve had a great time. Man United will always be in my heart, oh and Chelsea as well, by the way, oh and Benfica – don’t forget them’. They can’t all be in your heart.”

Speaking to the Times, the 34-year-old midfield destroyer responded to Keane’s comments saying the former Red Devil needs to understand that football has changed.

“I have respect for what he has done, but he needs to understand that football has changed. If I played for Chelsea, I cannot say I hate them. I cannot be angry when I’m talking to the press after the game.”

The Roma man added that Keane’s angry persona would not have been tolerated in the modern game.

“The way he behaved on the pitch, 70 percent of it is a red card today. You cannot throw a punch when all the cameras in the world are there.” 

“The real hero is when you go out on the street and say something, but he was always very nice to me, so what he says in public, to be honest, I don’t really care. I know what I’ve done in my career, and I’m very happy.”

Matic is one of several United stars to be the subject of public criticism and has also been frustrated by the social media abuse aimed at Harry Maguire this season.

The former Chelsea man condemned his former United teammate’s treatment, labelling it a disaster that should be limited.

“What people are doing to him, it is a disaster. Everything has to have limits, and some of these people writing on social media, they don’t have their own lives so they just have to write bad things about someone else.”

Matic has played every game for Roma so far this season and is expected to be a part of Jose Mourinho’s squad that will travel to the San Siro Stadium to face Inter Milan next month.

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