Amsterdam (Holland), AC Milan (Italy), FC Barcelona (Spain),
Newcastle United (England), Valencia CF (Spain)
Robbie Keane (born July 8, 1980 in Tallaght, Dublin, Ireland) is
an Irish football player, who currently plays as a striker for
Tottenham Hotspur and the Republic of Ireland.
Keane started his football with South Dublin schoolboy side,
Crumlin United F.C. where his talent was recognised at an early
age. As an U-10 schoolboy he was paid 50p a goal, and was soon
being watched by scouts from a number of English professional
clubs, including Premier League side Liverpool. However, he
turned down Liverpool to join Wolves, reasoning that he had a
greater chance of breaking into the first team at the First
Division side. He made his first professional appearance in
1997, and played at Molineux for two seasons, making 88
appearances and scoring 29 goals, before a £6M transfer to
Coventry City in 1999, a then British record for a teenager.
After a successful season at Coventry, where he scored 12 goals
in 34 games, he had become one of the hottest properties in
English football, and was being courted by many of the biggest
clubs in football. In the end, he was signed by Marcello Lippi
of Internazionale for £13M, where he teamed up with the likes of
Ronaldo, Christian Vieri and Alvaro Recoba. However his dream
move to Italy soured when Lippi was sacked soon after Keane
arrived, and Lippi's successor, Marco Tardelli deemed Keane
surplus to requirements. Keane's ambition refused to let him
stagnate in Italy, and he was loaned out to Leeds United in
His Leeds career got off to a cracking start, scoring 9 goals in
14 starts before the Leeds manager, David O'Leary, made his loan
deal permanent in May 2001 at a cost of £12M. The following
season was not so bright, and he found himself dropping down the
pecking order. His form suffered and he only managed 10 goals in
36 appearances. Meanwhile, Leeds' financial troubles were
forcing the club to sell many of its players, and Keane joined
the exodus when he was sold to Spurs just before the 2002-03
transfer deadline, where he still plays.
Upon signing for Tottenham, the Spurs manager Glenn Hoddle said
Keane was ideally suited to Tottenham and could make White Hart
Lane his spiritual home for years to come. He repaid this faith
with some outstanding displays, earning the club's Player of the
Year awards in his first two seasons at Tottenham. He bagged 13
and 16 goals respectively in those first two seasons for Spurs.
His third season, 2004-2005, was more frustrating. Despite
finishing with his highest return of goals in a season for
Tottenham, 17, he played second-fiddle to Jermaine Defoe for
much of the season, though in the 2005-2006 season, he has
regained his place in the team, and even taken the captaincy.
He is a firm fans favourite, and is regarded as a great
professional. Hoddle once said of Keanes personality. "He's such
a bubbly lad that anyone who meets him loves him, he is great
for team spirit". Edgar Davids and Keane were involved in a
training ground fight, but since then the pair have publicly
made up and can be seen encouraging each other on the pitch.
For such a young man, Robbie Keane has already achieved much in
the international arena.
He was part of the "golden generation" of Irish youth football
of the late 1990s. Under the guidance of, Brian Kerr, the
unfancied Irish won the UEFA U-17 and U-19 European
championships in 1998, and Robbie was part of the victorious
U-19 side. In 1999, he played at the World Youth Cup in Nigeria,
where the Irish reached the quarter-finals before going out on
penalties to the hosts.
He made his first senior appearance for the Republic of Ireland
against the Czech Republic in Olomouc in March 1998, scoring his
first senior goal against Malta in October that year.
Keane has recently become the Republic's top goalscorer at
international level; his 25 goals in 60 games (his most recent
against Israel in June 2005) surpass Niall Quinn's record of 21.
He had a brilliant 2002 World Cup campaign in Japan and South
Korea, scoring three goals in Ireland's four games. His most
famous goal to date is arguably the injury-time equaliser
against Germany in the 2002 World Cup, although his last-minute
equaliser against Spain from the penalty spot was equally as
Although Ireland failed to qualify for the 2006 World Cup, Keane
scored four goals in Ireland's eight matches and remains their
most prolific goalscorer.