Keane returns to Old Trafford today with Sunderland and said: "I first met Alex Ferguson in Manchester before I signed and we had a game of snooker.
"I had agreed to join Blackburn but I soon changed my mind. I was always going to United after meeting him. Did I win? He was a useful player. But I was after an extra few bob, so I let him beat me on the black!"
Keane was instantly hooked on Ferguson's winning mentality, which Sunderland will need to replicate by the bucketload to stand any chance against the champs in their back yard.
He added: "Alex Ferguson came from Scotland, obviously a winner, and he was motivated by winning whether we were playing a top team, bottom team or playing cards on the team bus. He wanted to win and I love that in people. I identify with that and plug into it.
"Perhaps that's what he saw in me when he signed me. I count my blessings I had that opportunity to work with him. It was fantastic.
"He has upset a lot of people over the years because of his winning attitude and mentality.
"He won't let people get in his way and some people don't like it. I actually don't mind it. But because you need that as manager of a big club like Manchester United, you will upset people along the way.
"Whether it's players or staff, you have to get that into the fabric of your club. That's what I am trying to do."