The Republic of Ireland travel to face Scotland tonight in a crucial European Championship Qualifier. Robbie Keane is expected to lead the line for Martin O’Neill’s men, and here at Pundit Arena we feel it’s about time people appreciated just how good our talisman has been for the Boys In Green.
1. He Has Outscored Ronaldo, Batistuta, Eto’o, etc.
Keane’s record puts him tied for 14th in the international goalscoring rankings. The former Crumlin United schoolboy has outscored an incredible who’s who of international talent. Here’s just a sample:
– Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 50 goals.
– Thierry Henry, 51 goals.
– Romario, 55 goals.
– Samuel Eto’o, 56 goals.
– Gabriel Batistuta, 56 goals.
– David Villa, 59 goals.
– Ronaldo, 62 goals.
2. He’s Had To Play Against Tougher Teams Than Most
One argument that is always incorrectly put towards Robbie and his record is that “he only scores against the smaller teams”. Unsurprisingly, the people that utter those idiotic words fail to realise that Ireland have to face a string of top sides due to their low seeding.
This means that players like Thierry Henry, David Villa and the Brazilian Ronaldo have played more games against traditionally weaker sides than the Republic of Ireland have.
Included in his 42 competitive goals, Keane has been on the scoresheet against top footballing nations such as Holland, Germany, France, Italy Spain, Russia and Sweden.
To put this into perspective, Robert Lewandowski of Poland has scored 23 goals for his country, with just one of them coming against a top-ranked side (Germany, in a friendly) (source: Independent.ie).
Gibraltar aside, there are few easy games for the Boys In Green, further underlining the phenomenal goalscoring prowess of King Keane.
3. He Is The Fifth Highest Goalscorer In European History
Keane has delivered time and time again on the international stage and the only players that have rippled the net more than the Irish captain are Ferenc Puskás, Sandor Kocsis, the exceptional German, Gerd Müller, and his compatriot Miroslav Klose.
4. He Scores Crucial Goals
Of the incredible 65 international goals to Keane’s name, 42 have come in competitive fixtures. That means nearly two-thirds of his goals have been scored when Ireland needed him most.
One also has to bear in mind that Ireland have qualified for just two international tournaments in Robbie’s time (2002 World Cup, Euro 2012). This further substantiates the fact that Ireland have never had it easy on the international stage.
At the 2002 World Cup, Keane scored three goals in Ireland’s four games, including this unforgettable injury time equaliser against Germany that sent the country wild.
5. It Took 12 Years For The Country To Lose A Game In Which Robbie Scored
Keane’s free-scoring ways on the international stage saw him score against teams of all levels. He gave the national side a lift and soon a pattern emerged; every time Keane scored, Ireland would fail to lose.
From his international debut in March 1998, right up to October 2010, Ireland failed to lose a game in which Keane had hit the back of the net. An incredible stat, but one that came to an end against the Russians over twelve years later, when Keane scored his 45th international goal
6. Keane Is The Leading Goalscorer In European Championship Qualifying History
A hattrick inside the first twelve minutes against Gibraltar in October saw Keane become the highest goalscorer in European Championship Qualifying history, bringing his total to 21 goals. This tally saw him overtake Turkish legend Hakan Sukur.
7. The Irish Goalscoring Record Has Tripled Thanks To Keane
Prior to Robbie exploding onto the scene, Niall Quinn ruled the roost. Quinn had notched 21 goals for the Republic, putting him ahead of the totals of Tony Cascarino (19) and Don Givens (19).
Keane has scored more goals than the next three highest goal scorers for Ireland combined. His total of 65 goals overshadows the contribution of Irish stalwarts Quinn, Cascarino and Givens and is more than three times the record set by his predecessor.
8. He Is The First Player From Ireland & The UK To Reach Fifty International Goals
Keane was up to his usual tricks in June 2011 when a two-goal salvo against FYR Macedonia saw the striker break the fifty goals mark and take his international tally to 51.
This achievement meant Keane became the first player from Ireland, North of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England to hit fifty international goals.
Not Ian Rush, not Wayne Rooney (yet), not even Bobby Charlton. Our Robbie pipped them all!
9. He Celebrates Each Goal As If It’s His Last
Keane knows that his historic international career is nearing its conclusion, and as a result, he’s continued to celebrate every goal as if it will be his last for the Boys In Green.
This can be seen in his first goal against the Faroes, where he makes a run in between the plumber and carpenter and slots home from six yards past the helpless postman. Keano loves it, and so do we!
10. He Has More Goals For Ireland Than £35 million Andy Carroll Has In His Entire Career.
Robbie Keane has scored a stunning 65 goals for the Republic of Ireland. He is the highest scoring active player in international football. 65 goals is an outstanding return and a feat that a number of Premier League strikers fail to reach in their entire club and international career.
Andy Carroll, who made his Premier League debut for Newcastle in 2007, has scored considerably less in his entire career for both club and country (49). If we take into account Carroll’s goals at England U-19 and U-21 level, a total of six, he still trails Keane by ten goals.
Carroll is by no means a goal machine, but he did cost £35 million at one stage and we enjoy poking fun at that.
BONUS: Time For You To Decide
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