Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill has branded striker Robbie Keane as one of the greatest finishers the game has seen.
The striker recently announced his international retirement in a career that saw him make close to 150 appearances for the national team. Since making his debut in 1988,Keane has gone on to feature in 145 appearances. A return of 67 goals from these matches speaks volumes about the striker’s capability in front of goal.Keane has been a successful Premier League forward who represented the likes of Tottenham, Liverpool, and Aston Villa. He is currently with LA Galaxy in the MLS.
As Ireland qualified for the Euro 2016 in surprising circumstances, it was thought thatKeane would make the most out of it by featuring in a major international tournament. This has long been a dream for many Irish players. Prior to Euro 2012, Ireland had qualified for only one European championships in their history. Euro 2016 was seen as a distant attempt, but they qualified with flying colours. It was also seemingly the best place forKeane to call time on his international career and it proved to be the same.Keane will make one final appearance for the international team when they take on Oman in the first week of September.
“Robbie’s appearances and goals for Ireland speak for themselves. He is undoubtedly one of Ireland’s finest every players and I do not see his international goal record being beaten for a very long time, if ever. It will take us some time to get over his absence,” said Martin O’Neill. “Robbie has been one of the greatest Irish sports figures of all time and a truly great Irish man,” said John Delaney, FAI’s CEO. Keane says that he has no plans to retire from club football as of now.