Roy Keane believes that he was often playing a part at Manchester United when he was on the pitch.
Speaking at the Off the Ball roadshow in association with Cadbury, Keane said he almost felt like he was putting on a performance when he played.
"I kind of always kept my family at a distance for it and they never really came to many matches.
"I enjoyed that because I also think that when you're playing sport you're kind of like an actor."
"I always thought that when I was going to play football that I was going to war.
"So I was fighting my corner, I wanted my family to have a good life and get a good contract," the former Manchester United midfielder said.
For Keane, he always kept his family life separate from his professional life.
"The family came to a match once at Ipswich and they left after 40 mins, I think they were 2-0 down.
"I remember I got home and I said, 'What did you think of the game?' and they told me they left because they were freezing!" Keane said.
He also said he would not be the same player without that trademark aggression for which he is known.
While he did step over the line on a number of occasions in his career, he felt it was a sacrifice he had to make to play at that level.
"The way I played, I always played on the edge and I was always going to get a few yellow cards.
"I was going to get sent off the odd time that was the way I played, I had a decent career because I played that way.
"I remember particularly in pre-season or friendly games unless I was really at it, I was such a bad player.
"I had to be at it with 100% intensity, that's what gave me the career," the former Ireland midfielder said.
Off The Ball were in the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre with Roy Keane and Gary Neville with thanks to Cadbury, who are celebrating their third year as 'Official Snack Partner' to the Premier League