Roy Keane is dubbed the ‘stand-out star of the 2022 Qatar World Cup’ for his ‘no-nonsense’ punditry

Roy Keane becomes stand-out star of the World Cup: ‘Straight-talking’ ITV pundit is lauded for ‘pure no-nonsense’ commentary… with army of adoring female fans loving his ‘sexy beard’

He was renowned as the tough tackling enforcer of Manchester United’s star-studded midfield during their glory days.

But now Roy Keane has been winning plaudits from across the globe with his no-nonsense analysis as part of ITV‘s broadcast team during the 2022 World Cup.

The Irish pundit, 51, has earned the admiration of fans with his ‘straight-talking’ approach – including calling out the hypocrisy of England and Wales captains for backing down over fears of sanctions for wearing the rainbow OneLove armband.

Others have heaped praise on his impressive beard, with an ever-growing army of female fans taking to social media to share how they find the former Manchester United captain ‘sexy’ after honing his well-shaped facial hair.

The ITV analyst was widely praised earlier in the tournament following his impassioned speech after Harry Kane and Gareth Bale backed down and chose not to wear the OneLove armband for their opening matches. 

He was also cheered on by human rights groups after leading condemnation over FIFA’s decision to controversially hand Qatar the rights to host the World Cup in 2010

ITV pundit Roy Keane has been winning plaudits from across the globe with his no-nonsense analysis as part of the broadcaster's coverage during the 2022 World Cup

ITV pundit Roy Keane has been winning plaudits from across the globe with his no-nonsense analysis as part of the broadcaster’s coverage during the 2022 World Cup 

The Irish pundit, 51, and former enforcer of Manchester United's midfield has earned the admiration of fans with his 'straight-talking' approach

The Irish pundit, 51, and former enforcer of Manchester United’s midfield has earned the admiration of fans with his ‘straight-talking’ approach 

Roy Keane (pictured above in action in 2002) enjoyed a glittering career as the tough tackling engine who ran Manchester United's star-studded midfield during their glory days

Roy Keane (pictured above in action in 2002) enjoyed a glittering career as the tough tackling engine who ran Manchester United’s star-studded midfield during their glory days

Several of Keane’s admirers took to social media to sing the praises of the straight-talking pundit.

One user said: ‘You just gotta love Roy Keane and his dry wit, straight-talking answers. He packs a punch always’. 

Karl Duvall added: ‘Huge respect to Roy Keane. He is a brilliant pundit.’

Others were more focused on the former Manchester United star’s appearance, with some social media accounts entirely dedicated to the pundit’s facial hair.

One Twitter user cheekily admitted: ‘Maybe I am getting old, but Roy Keane looks quite hot with the beard.’

Another added: ‘I’ve been harbouring a secret. I’ve started to really dig Roy Keane sex wise. Think it’s the beard’. 

But not everyone has always enjoyed Keane’s bristling beard. Alf-Inge Haaland, who is the father of Manchester City striker Erling and saw his career end after a sickening tackle by Keane, once compared the Irishman’s facial hair to Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussain.

The ITV analyst was widely praised earlier in the tournament following his impassioned speech after Harry Kane and Gareth Bale backed down and chose not to wear the OneLove armband for their opening matches

The ITV analyst was widely praised earlier in the tournament following his impassioned speech after Harry Kane and Gareth Bale backed down and chose not to wear the OneLove armband for their opening matches 

The tough-talking pundit also sensationally clashed with fellow midfield hardman Graeme Souness during Argentina's opening game against Saudi Arabia - leaving fans in stitches on social media

The tough-talking pundit also sensationally clashed with fellow midfield hardman Graeme Souness during Argentina’s opening game against Saudi Arabia – leaving fans in stitches on social media 

Keane was cheered on by human rights groups after leading condemnation over FIFA's decision to controversially hand Qatar the rights to host the World Cup in 2010

Keane was cheered on by human rights groups after leading condemnation over FIFA’s decision to controversially hand Qatar the rights to host the World Cup in 2010

The ITV pundit was widely praised for his impassioned speech after Harry Kane and Gareth Bale backed down and chose not to wear the OneLove armband for their opening matches.’I think the players could have done it for the first game – took the punishment, whatever that might be,’ Keane told 

ITV. ‘If it’s Kane you’re risking getting a yellow card, but that would have been a great statement.

‘Do it for the first game, get your yellow card and what a message that would have been. Take your medicine and in the next game you move on. 

‘You don’t wear it because you don’t want to get suspended but, I think it was a big mistake because both players – Wales and England – should have stuck to their guns and done it. 

‘No matter the pressure from the outside and the associations, have the belief, if that’s what you believe, then go with it.’

He also summed up the ethical dilemma facing football-mad fans after leading condemnation over FIFA’s decision to controversially hand Qatar the rights to host the World Cup in 2010. 

‘The World Cup shouldn’t be here, you’ve got a country and the way they treat migrant workers, gay people’, he said during pre-match remarks on Tuesday.

‘We’re on about spreading the game but dismissing human rights, it’s not right. It shouldn’t be here.’

Several of Keane's admirers took to social media to sing the praises of the straight-talking pundit. Female fans have also shared how they find the former Manchester United captain 'sexy' after he honed his well-shaped facial hair

Several of Keane’s admirers took to social media to sing the praises of the straight-talking pundit. Female fans have also shared how they find the former Manchester United captain ‘sexy’ after he honed his well-shaped facial hair

Keane delighted viewers as he blasted the ‘schoolboy defending’ displayed by Germany in their shock 2-1 defeat against Japan.

The former Republic of Ireland captain said: ‘If you conceded a goal like that in training, you would stop and say, are you concentrating, are you doing it properly?

‘It is schoolboy defending. Neuer almost made himself look smaller.’

The tough-talking pundit also sensationally clashed with fellow midfield hardman Graeme Souness during Argentina’s opening game against Saudi Arabia.

The pair hit out at each other after Argentina were awarded an early penalty when Leandro Paredes was seemingly pulled to the floor by Mohamed Kanno. 

Lionel Messi tucked away his spot kick to make the game 1-0, but Souness and Keane, who are known for never giving an inch – clashed in a moment that fans loved.

Speaking on ITV at half-time, Keane started the skirmish when he said: ‘I don’t think that’s a penalty.’

Souness hit back by claiming it should have been a penalty as the Scotsman added: ‘He’s (the defender) not looking at the ball. 

‘He doesn’t know where the ball is and is just interested in the Argentinian player. He doesn’t know when it’s been kicked, he’s not looking – I think that is a pen.’

Keane retorted: ‘No no no! All this will do is encourage diving. He’s (Paredes) dragging him (the defender) down.

Souness then said: ‘Roy you’re not listening to what Laura (Woods – ITV presenter) said. This is a directive from referees this is not about opinion this is is a fact – the guy wasn’t looking.’

Keane then fumed: ‘I heard exactly what she said. This will encourage diving – I’m here to give my opinion. That’s not a pen!’

What is the OneLove armband? 

Nine countries including England and Wales had planned to sport the OneLove armband for this year’s tournament.

The armband has its roots in the Netherlands and is designed to promote diversity and inclusion with football. 

In 2021, Georginio Wijnaldum wore the armband at a European Championship game in Hungary with the consent of UEFA, the governing body of European football.

It is a white armband with a heart emblazoned on it, accompanied by the words ‘One’ and ‘Love’.

The armband was designed to advocate for the rights of the LGBT+ community, among other marginalised groups within football, and to support equality for all.

Although it has a core message related to the LGBT+ community, it is far more than that, and represents a call to respect everyone’s human rights regardless of age, race, sexual or gender identity, nationality or disability.

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