Sorry, Rob­bie, and thanks

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Living - - FRONT PAGE - PAT FITZ­PATRICK

We’ve al­ways been un­fair to Rob­bie Keane, who last week called it a day on his play­ing ca­reer. We seemed un­able to for­give him for scor­ing 68 goals for Ire­land, 47 more than our sec­ond high­est scorer.

In the clos­ing years of his in­ter­na­tional ca­reer, we mocked him for fail­ing to notch up even more, in Ir­ish teams that set out to rev­o­lu­tionise the game by scor­ing goals while en­joy­ing 0pc posses­sion of the ball.

We shook our heads at the brazen way he max­imised his value by mov­ing 11 times in his ca­reer (scor­ing 325 goals in the process). A cer­tain sec­tion of so­ci­ety found this a bit nou­veau riche — a bit Tal­laght, if you like.

Maybe it would have been bet­ter if he was born in Eng­land but de­clared for Ire­land, we love that.

Now is the time to re­mem­ber he was the Keane who didn’t walk out in Saipan, the young Keane who scored the vi­tal goal against Ger­many in the World Cup, and treated us to his daft cart­wheel. Re­mem­ber how you felt that day. And say thanks to Rob­bie Keane.

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