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Micah Richards on why he was “never scared” of facing Robbie Keane

Micah Richards on playing against Robbie Keane.

Micah Richards has claimed that Robbie Keane never gave him the “fear factor” whenever the pair faced each other during their playing careers.

The former Manchester City defender crossed paths with Keane over the course of approximately nine Premier League seasons and despite the Irishman being the 15th highest-ever scorer in the competition, Richards seemingly never lost too much sleep over facing him.

Micah Richards reflects on Robbie Keane’s abilities.

Speaking on the latest edition of the Match of the Day: Top 10 podcast, Richards, Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer discussed the most ‘unsung heroes’ in Premier League history and Keane was one of the players on the list along with the likes of Gareth Barry, Michael Carrick and James Milner.

On the subject of the Republic of Ireland’s record goalscorer, Richards reflected on the striker’s unsuccessful stint at Inter Milan as a youngster which essentially ended after just six months, when he was loaned to Leeds United before a permanent move to Elland Road came the following summer.

Micah Richards: “Robbie Keane never had the fear factor.”

“When he went to Inter Milan and he was only young there, I feel like sometimes when you go somewhere and you don’t play, it seems like a little bit of a failure, even though he went there when he was really young,” Richards said.

“He was at Leeds as well, he did well at Leeds. He scored goals but I played against Robbie Keane and I was never scared of playing against him. He never had the fear factor.

The conversation then moves to a comparison between Keane and his ex-Tottenham Hotspur teammate Jermain Defoe and Richards appeared torn between the two when asked to pick who was better.

Robbie Keane v Jermain Defoe.

“It’s weird because Robbie Keane was probably harder to play against because he would drop the shoulder a little bit more, come into pockets where you don’t want to go but you know if you give Defoe a chance he would just score.

“It depends on the system. Barcelona, I’m taking Robbie Keane, Real Madrid I’m taking Defoe!”

Gary Lineker: “Keane had more to his game.”

When asked for his opinion, Lineker opted for Keane while conceding that there wasn’t much between the pair.

“Keane, just,” the Match of the Day presenter said when asked to choose. “He’s got a little bit more to his game. From watching them closely, very little in it.

“A lot of similarities, slightly different in a way but if I had to pick one, I’d just edge it with Robbie Keane.”

Robbie Keane

Robbie Keane’s Premier League stats.

Keane sits behind Defoe in the all-time Premier League scoring charts, hitting 126 goals compared to the Englishman’s 162. However, the Dubliner’s strike rate is superior, having played 349 matches in the competition, with Defoe playing 496.

While Richards was generally complimentary of Keane’s abilities, he might be be relieved that the podcast came out on Monday, the day after the pair appeared together in the Sky Sports studio, given his comments about Keane lacking a fear factor.

You can listen to the conversation in full via this link.

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