Days after the attacker who helped bring three MLS Cups to Los Angeles was appointed as an assistant coach with the Ireland National Team, one of world football’s memorable strikers is hanging up his boots. Following an illustrious 23 year career including stops at Tottenham Hotspur, Inter Milan and the LA Galaxy, Robbie Keane has officially retired from the game.
“I take great pride in having scored 325 goals in 737 club appearances and 68 goals in 146 international appearances for the Republic of Ireland” said Keane in a statement. “But for me, it was about making my family proud and the friendships that this wonderful game has given me”.
The all-time leading goalscorer for Ireland had been enhancing his footballing education in LA applying for UEFA coaching badges, so it isn’t a surprise to see Keane prolong his career by teaming up with manager Mick McCarthy, the man who coached Robbie when he scored his most famous goal during the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
Going to miss ya Keano.
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Today, after 23 wonderful years, I am formally announcing my retirement as a professional footballer. Leaving home aged 15 to pursue my professional career in England seems a lifetime ago. I was a street footballer full of hope & armed with huge ambitions. All I needed was that one chance. I would like to pay special thanks to Wolverhampton Wanderers for believing in me & giving me that chance when I made my professional debut in 1997 against Norwich City. I will never forget that day, I was fortunate enough to score both goals in a 2-0 win. From Wolves I embraced new challenges at Coventry City, Inter Milan, Leeds United & then possibly the most successful period of my club football career with Tottenham Hotspur, a club that will always hold a special place in my heart. I then enjoyed time at Celtic, Liverpool, West Ham United, & LA Galaxy. My playing career concluded with an exciting few months with ATK, a club which gave me my first experience of management. Playing & captaining my country has been the highlight of my career. I enjoyed every moment with Ireland over an 18-year period. Words cannot express how proud I am to be Irish. It was so important for me to have a good connection with the fans of the teams I played with. Your support was vital to me, thank you. Thank you to the teammates, managers & staff I have worked with; I was honoured to learn from you all. Thanks to my parents Anne & my late father Robbie Snr, my brother & sisters for their support. To my wife Claudine & my sons Robert and Hudson - thank you for your love, support & encouragement. I am so incredibly grateful for all you have done for me. I take great pride in having scored 325 goals in 737 club appearances & 68 goals in 146 international appearances for the Republic of Ireland. But for me, it was about making my family proud & the friendships that this wonderful game has given me. With the closing of one chapter comes an exciting new adventure. I am honoured & excited to be working alongside Mick McCarthy, Terry Connor and the Irish international team & I hope to use my experiences to contribute towards a bright future in Irish football. Thank you for the memories!