When Robbie Keane fails to turn up for an Ireland game you know for certain he’s genuinely injured. None of your vague muscle strains which evaporate like a fart in a sand storm once the international break is over. No selfish egotism overtaking the greater good. And no fictional grannies kicking even more fictional buckets.
Since making his debut in March of 1998 the Tallaght born striker has turned out for his country a whopping 135 times and counting. More times than any Irish, English, Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish player before him.
His 62 international goals see him placed 16th in the all-time list. Tied with Brazilian Ronaldo, more commonly known as fat Ronaldo. With the recent retirement of Germany’s Miroslav Klose there isn’t a single active player ahead of Keane on that list. Given the lack of attacking talent coming through the Ireland ranks we should see him beat Klose’s total of 71 and earn himself a place in the top ten of all-time international goalscorers before time, his body or his wife forces him to hang his boots up.
- Keane’s 62 goals in 135 Ireland games gives a 46% strike rate.
- In competitive games, 43 goals in 83 games, that increases to 53%.
Eur The Best
Keane has also played in more European Qualifiers than most of his rivals, 36. Miroslav Klose has only played in 20, the same number as Zlatan Ibrahimovich, Wayne Rooney has played in 19 and Robin van Persie a mere 13.
Robbie clearly loves playing for Ireland, especially in home Euro Qualifiers. In European Qualifiers played in Dublin he has scored 12 goals in 18 games for a strike rate of 67%. Hitting the back of the net in 9 separate games. That’s at least one goal in every second game.
Yanky Doodle Dandy
He may have lost a step or two of pace but moving to Los Angeles has done his confidence the world of good. At 34 years of age he’s not just scoring regularly (19 goals in 28 games this season) he’s scoring spectacularly. Here’s a cracking volley he scored last weekend. One of two he bagged in a 3-0 win over Toronto FC.
Whilst Thierry Henry looks a slower, more ponderous version of the player he once was, Robbie Keane looks as sharp and enthusiastic as ever. Possibly lacking some top end speed. If you thought the above goal was good check out this piece of world class skill from the end of August against Chivas USA. Say what you want about the quality of defending but this would warrant a standing ovation down your local astro-park.
Robbie Keane may not get the respect his international numbers deserve but if you’ve been watching his MLS highlights this season you’ll have seen a top quality player full of confidence. Against Gibraltar this Saturday Keane is 11/5 to score first and his record suggests if he doesn’t score first the odds are that he’ll score at some stage. Plus Gibraltar are essentially a Sunday league team. If you have any doubts about the standard of football of Major League Soccer it’s certainly several levels above what Ireland and Keane will be facing at the Aviva Stadium.