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The story of Robbie Keane and the Italian legend who inspired him to wear number 10

“He was one of the greatest of all-time, apart from when Paul McGrath had him in his pocket in 1994.”

GROWING UP IN Tallaght, Robbie Keane would often be referred to as ‘Roberto’ by people around the area.

He didn’t mind the nickname. It was a golden age for Italian football and the youngster had become a fan of pony-tailed forward lining out for the likes of Juventus, Fiorentina and Milan — Roberto Baggio.

Robbie Keane is given a standing ovation as he is subbed off Keane and Baggio. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO & Phil O'Brien/EMPICS Sport

Ireland team-mate Gary Kelly would later call Keane ‘Baggio’ while on international duty, and it has since been passed on to his son Robert jr.

The pair were actually close to playing together but Baggio departed Inter Milan right before Keane joined from Coventry City in the summer of 2000.

As part of the Three’s #TheCallUp campaign, Ireland’s record goalscorer explains how it the ex-Italy star who inspired him to wear the number 10 shirt for the Boys in Green.

Source: Three Ireland/YouTube

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About the author:

Ben Blake

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