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Dublin: 7°C Tuesday 11 May 2021

'If I score in the Euros I'll definitely do the cartwheel, I just hope I don't get stuck' - Robbie Keane

The Ireland captain was in flying form in an interview with Soccer AM this morning.

Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

IRELAND CAPTAIN ROBBIE Keane may be sidelined through injury but his witty mind was as sharp as ever in a light-hearted interview with Sky Sports’ Soccer AM this morning.

The LA Galaxy striker also revealed that he is planning to have a crack at football management when he hangs up his boots despite initially having reservations about making such a career move.

Keane told Soccer AM’s Tubes, in an interview featuring a couple of cameos from livewire kitman Dick Redmond, that he has already talked to Ireland boss Martin O’Neill about his options now that he has secured his coaching badges.

“I think it’s probably a natural progression for me,” Keane, who missed last night’s win against Switzerland with a knee injury, that has also ruled him out of Tuesday’s friendly against Slovakia, said.

“I’ve done my B and A licence. I’ve finished that so it’s genuinely something that I’ve become very interested in.

When I was thinking about doing my coaching badges I was thinking, ‘I wonder will I like this or not’. But once I started doing them I really, really enjoyed it.

“And now, as the years are going by, I’m watching training, if I’m injured for example, I’m watching it differently than I would have four or five years ago. And watching games differently.

“I’m kind of looking at games now as if I was the manager, to see what I would do differently; who I’d change.

“I spoke to our manager today about it. He asked me, Martin O’Neill, so I just had a good conversation with him about it. You know, going forward, he was asking me what I’d like to do.”

The 35-year-old will this summer likely play in his third major tournament for Ireland, after the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2012, and he his delighted for the fans as much as himself.

“If you’ve seen over the years, ’88 with Ireland, the ’94 World Cup, 2002 Japan and Korea (World Cup); those moments, for the Irish fans are historical. I think it’s probably fair to say that every major tournament needs the Irish fans there.”

With 143 caps to his name since making his international debut 18 years and one day ago, Keane knows how monotonous spending time in hotels can be as players wait for the games to come around.

But with an iPad to keep him amused, he can overcome the boredom even if he finds himself rooming with fellow veteran Shay Given, he quipped.

“The iPad (is essential). In a hotel room for four weeks, especially if I’m in the room with Shay Given, four weeks is at least two years.

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“The good thing about Shay is that if I’m tired he can tell me a few of his stories from his Newcastle days with Alan Shearer and stuff like that, so it will get me off to sleep pretty quickly.

“So he’s pretty dull then?” Keane was asked.

“He’s a good lad when he’s asleep,” he quipped.

Keane, as he heads towards his 36th birthday in July, now reserves his trademark cartwheel celebration for special occasions. And Irish fans can expect to see it if the Dubliner finds the net in France.

“For massive goals, important goals, I’ll do it. If I score in the Euros I’ll definitely do the cartwheel, I just hope I don’t get stuck up there.”


Keane will likely bring his decorated Ireland career to a halt after the finals this summer, a remarkable spell that has already yielded 67 goals for the Boys in Green, obliterating Niall Quinn’s previous record of 21.

He has also captained Ireland more than anyone else, an astonishing 72 times to date.

But it is the goal-scoring record that the former Tottenham star will cherish the most when he has time to reflect on his international career.

“It’s difficult when you’re still playing the game (to reflect on what you’ve achieved) because you’re always looking for the next goal, always looking for the next cap.

“That’s just the way I am, I think I’ll look back when I’m finished with Ireland.

“A lad from the streets of Dublin, I think I’ve done OK.

“As a striker I will always look back, when I do finish, and say the goals, certainly for me, were definitely one of the highlights. And, you know, being captain has been tremendous also.”

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About the author:

Alan Waldron

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