As a lifelong Liverpool supporter, Robbie Keane will have wished that his spell on Merseyside proved more fruitful in terms of goals and opportunities.
Robbie Keane moved to Liverpool in the summer of 2008 but, disappointingly, failed to figure frequently and ended up returning to Tottenham Hotspur just over six months later.
The legendary Republic of Ireland forward grew up supporting the Reds and unsurprisingly, two of his footballing heroes are considered icons at Anfield.
Keane recently revealed that Ian Rush and John Barnes were the two players he idolised while growing up in Dublin.
Speaking to Gary Lineker on the Match of the Day podcast, Keane said: “I was a Liverpool fan growing up and my brother is a Liverpool fan so he used to always talk about Kenny Dalglish and people like that but I didn’t really get to see them because Kenny was at the end of his career.
“I’d obviously watched a lot of videos but for me, John Barnes and Ian Rush were the two players that I would always look up to.
“I admired Ian Rush because of his goals, obviously. He was a great finisher and poacher.
“For John Barnes, it was because of his flair. I just loved the way he played the game and how he’d take people on effortlessly. That goal he scored against Brazil – to have the quality to drift past people was incredible.
“So they are definitely the two players I looked up to the most.”
After his move to Anfield, Keane found himself to be no more than a bit-part player under Rafael Benitez and scored just seven goals in 28 appearances for Liverpool.
Despite rumours of Keane becoming frustrated with his role under Benitez, the Irishman insists the pair never fell out.
Keane explained: “We were actually ok, to be honest with you. I just knew there was probably something, for the first couple of games I played left wing, obviously, I never played there. I used to drift out there a bit but I never played there.
“Then I had a spell where I was playing really well, I think I scored a couple of goals, I think I scored a great volley against Arsenal and I didn’t play the next game. It was a little bit like that a lot of the time. But he had a certain way he wanted to play and I respected that.
“In terms of a manager, tactically, he was very good. Really good. But we never had any problems. Never had a problem or falling out. I’d have conversations with him, of course. Because I would score two at the weekend and then I’m not playing.
“He’d like to play a way where he’d like to play a midfielder in there. He’d play Stevie (Gerrard) as the 10 and (Fernando) Torres high up. Listen, I’m not going to argue with Steven Gerrard, his record. Playing with Torres was unbelievable also. Honestly, the two of us never had a proper falling out.”