Legendary Irish International Roy Keane Announces Retirement in 18 Months

MANCHESTER (From FoxSports.Com) - Manchester United captain Roy Keane has insisted he will quit the game when his current contract expires in 18 months.

The 33-year-old Republic of Ireland international has been in outstanding form recently prompting speculation that he might agree to extend his United career.

Keane came out on top in his personal duel with Liverpool's Steven Gerrard at Anfield last month squared up to Patrick Vieira at Highbury before the win over Arsenal and then capped an inspired display against Birmingham last week by notching his 50th goal for the Red Devils.

Sir Alex Ferguson was so impressed by that latter display that he claimed Keane would be remembered as a United legend in "500 years".

The Irishman's brilliant form and a relatively injury-free campaign had led to speculation that he would prolong an Old Trafford career that will have reached 13 years when his current deal runs out in 2006.

However Keane who said when he signed his contract he expected it to be his last still feels the same way.

"I feel good he said. "My hip feels good my left knee was a bit sore but overall I am not too bad. Mentally I am enjoying my football."

"But when I signed my current contract I believed it would be last playing contract I ever signed and I still believe that to be the case."