Gerard Pique says he "almost s*** myself" when he found himself the target of a Roy Keane rant during his time at Manchester United.
A product of La Masia, Pique moved to Old Trafford in 2004 before returning to Barcelona in 2008, the Spain international becoming one of the world's finest defenders during his decade at Camp Nou.
But before heading to Catalonia, Pique provoked ire from famously fiery Irishman Keane after leaving his mobile phone on in the dressing room before a match.
"One of my very first matches at Old Trafford, we were in the dressing room getting ready, and I was nervous as hell," Pique wrote in The Players' Tribune.
"Imagine it - I'm 18 years old, and I'm sitting in that little dressing room putting on my socks next to Ruud van Nistelrooy and Ryan Giggs and Rio Ferdinand. I wanted to be invisible. I was thinking, 'Just do your job and go unnoticed'.
"So we're sitting there waiting for the gaffer 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. It's dead quiet. All of a sudden, you could hear this little vibration. Very soft.
"Bzzzzzz ……………….. Bzzzzzzz. Roy is looking around the room. Bzzzzzzz ….. Oh, s***. I realise 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. 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.' Roy put his arm around me, and he laughed, and he told me not to worry about it.
"No, come on, of course I'm joking! Roy lost his mind! He went nuts in front of everybody! It was incredible. I almost s*** 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!"
To read Spain and Barcelona defender Gerard Pique's inaugural post on The Players' Tribune, 'A Long Story', in full, please visit: https://www.theplayerstribune.com/en-us/articles/gerard-pique-a-long-story. The Players' Tribune connects players with fans through the power of storytelling and has today announced its global expansion in partnership with Pique.
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