“I was scared” – Mike Dean says Man Utd legend intimidated him the most

"I was scared" - Mike Dean says Man Utd legend intimidated him the most

Experienced referee Mike Dean has named Manchester United legend Roy Keane and Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira as the most intimidating players he has ever faced in the Premier League.

The 53-year-old, who was announced as a Premier League referee in 2000, will retire from officiating at the end of the season.

Mike Dean, who is regarded as one of the best match officials in England, admits to BBC Sport that he felt a ‘bit nervous’ when he officiated the likes of Roy Keane and Vieira of Arsenal.

Keane and Vieira made reputations for themselves, thanks to the dedication and commitment they put out in their respective clubs.

Mike Dean names Roy Keane as the most intimidating players he ever refereed
Mike Dean names Roy Keane as the most intimidating player he ever refereed
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The Irish midfielder was famously known for his hard work, hard tackling, and passionate displays during his playing days at Old Trafford and his ability to avoid punishable offences was also notable.

Reflecting on the highs and lows of his 37-year officiating career, Dean named former Manchester United and Arsenal captains as the players who intimidated him the most.

“You had massive, big-personality players, the Keanes, people like that, Vieira – they were all around then,” Mike Dean told BBC via Metro.

“For me to come from the Football League to the Premier League and referee those players… it was just a massive step. I was a bit nervous and a bit scared of making a decision.”