Republic of Ireland captain Robbie Keane after he announced his retirement from international football.
With 67 goals from 145 games, Keane will step away as the record caps holder and all-time goalscorer with his final appearance set to come in the ‘Three’ International Friendly against Oman on Wednesday, 31 August in Aviva Stadium.
Keane, 36, has enjoyed an 18-year senior career with Ireland, which started in March 1998 when he appeared as a substitute against Czech Republic and brought him all the way up to this summer’s UEFA EURO 2016 in France.
The Dubliner appeared in three major international tournaments (2002 FIFA World Cup, UEFA EURO 2012, UEFA EURO 2016) and scored in 15 consecutive years to place him 15th on the list of all-time international goalscorers.
Twice named as the FAI Senior International Player of the Year (2010, 2013), Keane also picked up three FAI International Goal of the Year awards and he captained Ireland to glory in the Nations Cup in 2011.
Ireland manager Martin O’Neill paid tribute to his captain by saying: “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.”
FAI CEO John Delaney hailed Keane’s contribution to his country by saying: “Robbie has been one of the greatest Irish sports figures of all time and a truly great Irish man.
“His goalscoring record of 67 goals from 145 games for Ireland is something that may never be beaten and I want to thank him for his contribution to the game, for his stunning performances, and for great leadership on and off the pitch.
“There are few footballers in the world who have showed such enthusiasm to play for their country as Robbie Keane. And even in the more recent years of his career he has been as enthusiastic to come and represent Ireland as when he was a teenager making his mark on the international game.
“I would like to wish Robbie and Claudine, and their children Robert and Hudson, the very best for the future, and they will always be very welcome back to the Aviva Stadium anytime.”
Part of the Ireland Under 18 team that won the UEFA European Championships in 1998, Keane was elevated to the senior team at the age of 17 after making the breakthrough with Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The free-scoring striker went on to play in four different countries for 10 different clubs, including Coventry City, Inter Milan, Leeds United, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, Celtic, West Ham United, Aston Villa and LA Galaxy.
Keane helped Tottenham win the English League Cup in 2008 and scored 126 goals in the English Premier League to leave him 13th on the all-time top scorer list. He has also won three MLS Cups with LA Galaxy and was selected as MLS MVP in 2014.
Keane broke Niall Quinn’s international goalscoring record for Ireland in 2004 with a brace against Faroe Islands. He went on to become the fourth senior player to earn 100 caps in the first international game at the redeveloped Aviva Stadium in 2010.
Still contracted to LA Galaxy, Keane will continue with his club but Ireland supporters will get the chance to bid farewell to the record goalscorer in the ‘Three’ International against Oman at Aviva Stadium on Wednesday, 31 August.