Skip to stay on? Robbie hints that he's not finished with Ireland yet
The Irish team looks set to lose a few veterans before the World Cup qualifiers, but it doesn’t seem as if Robbie Keane will be one of them.
Damien Duff will more than likely hang up his boots and there are lingering doubts over Shay Given’s future in an Irish jersey, but amid fears of a mass exodus of the thirty-somethings in the Irish squad, skipper Robbie Keane has dropped his biggest hint yet that he’s going to hang around.
Speaking about Ireland’s upcoming qualifying campaign for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Keane is quoted in The Irish Sun as saying: “I think now it’s important as a nation that we have to try and be involved in as many big competitions as we can. Our focus has to be on qualifying for Brazil.
“It’s important we continue to play in major tournaments.”
While such comments hardly represent a cast-iron guarantee that Keane will continue in an Irish jersey, he is still only 31 (32 on 8 July) and although he didn’t enjoy his best run of form at the Euros – in fairness, who did? – the 120-times capped striker will feel he still has a lot to offer at this level.
It will probably be a while before Robbie makes a definitive decision on his international future and within days of Ireland’s exit from the Euros, he was back in action with LA Galaxy and free from the effects of jet lag that affected him at the start of his MLS career.
“It’s been hectic, I did it (the travelling) a good few times so I’m more used to it. I’m 100 per cent in LA-mode now,” Robbie added.
“At the start it was quite difficult but the more you’ve done it, the more you adjust to it and understand what it’s about. This time around it’s been fine.”
Keane obviously wasn’t feeling the effects on his Galaxy return last weekend, when he scored and paid a touching tribute to the late Irish supporter James Nolan afterwards, a classy gesture from a wonderful servant to Irish football over the years.