|Full name||Robert David Keane|
|Date of birth||8 July 1980|
|Place of birth||Dublin, Ireland|
|Height||1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|2001||→ Leeds United (loan)||18||(9)|
|2010||→ Celtic (loan)||16||(12)|
|2011||→ West Ham United (loan)||9||(2)|
|2012||→ Aston Villa (loan)||6||(3)|
|1998–||Republic of Ireland||140||(65)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 13:56, 24 August 2015 (UTC).
Keane has scored a total of 65 goals for the Irish national team since his debut in 1998, making him the all-time record Irish scorer, while his 140 caps makes him their highest appearance-maker. He is currently the highest male international scorer among active players following Miroslav Klose's retirement in August 2014, and the fifth highest scoring European in history. He is also the top scorer of all time in European Championship qualification matches. Keane was Ireland's top scorer at the 2002 FIFA World Cup with three goals as they reached the Last 16, and also played at UEFA Euro 2012.
He began his professional career at Wolverhampton Wanderers, scoring twice on his first team debut aged 17. The following season he was the club's leading goalscorer and scored his first international goal with Republic of Ireland. He changed club frequently between 1999 and 2002, breaking transfer fee records, but his brief spells at Inter Milan and Leeds United were unexceptional. He joined Tottenham Hotspur in 2002 and played there for six years. The 2007–08 season was the most fruitful of his career as he set a career record of 23 goals in a season, including a landmark 100th competitive goal and he won his first senior honour, the League Cup.
Keane moved to Liverpool in July 2008 but he spent only six months at the club before returning to Tottenham, where he was made first team captain. In January 2010, Keane moved on loan to Scottish Premier League side Celtic for the rest of the season, and spent the second half of the following season loaned to West Ham United. He left Tottenham for Los Angeles Galaxy in 2011. In January 2012, Keane joined Premier League side Aston Villa on a two-month loan, during the MLS off-season. He is the tenth highest goalscorer in Tottenham Hotspur history and as of 21 January 2012, had scored 126 Premier League goals (list), which ranks him as eleventh most successful goal scorer in the history of the Premier League. On 11 June 2015, Robbie Keane signed a contract extension with Los Angeles Galaxy. Los Angeles Galaxy Football Club did not release the length or terms of the contract.
On 21 January 2012, Keane achieved the rare feat of having scored goals in competitions for ten different clubs, when he scored twice for Aston Villa against his former club Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League. This meant Keane had now scored in competitions for Aston Villa, West Ham United, Leeds United, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Coventry City, all in the Premier League, Wolverhampton Wanderers in the English First Division, Celtic in the Scottish Premier League, Inter Milan in Italy's Coppa Italia as well as Supercoppa Italiana, and LA Galaxy in Major League Soccer.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Club career
- 3 International career
- 4 Style of play
- 5 Personal life
- 6 Honours
- 7 Career statistics
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Keane was born on 8 July 1980 in Tallaght, South Dublin, Republic of Ireland. His parents are Robert and Anne Keane. He started his football career with Dublin schoolboy team Crumlin United F.C. where his talent was seen and recognised at an early age. Keane received offers from both Liverpool and Wolverhampton Wanderers but decided to go to the First Division side, judging that it would be harder to break into the first team at Liverpool. He moved to Wolves at the age of fifteen, joining their youth team. He is a second cousin once removed of the singer Morrissey.
Keane progressed through Wolves' youth ranks and made his professional debut aged 17 on 9 August 1997, scoring twice against Norwich City. The following season he excelled at the club, earning praise from both the press and Wolves manager Colin Lee. He went on to be the club's leading scorer, with 16 goals in the 1998–99 season. Keane's performances and goalscoring record with both Wolves and his national team attracted much interest from larger clubs and a move for the young striker seemed imminent given Wolves' finances. However, with three years left on his contract, Wolves sought a high price for their Irish star and managing director John Richards stated his reluctance to sell Keane unless their asking price was met.
Just weeks into the 1999–2000 season, he was sold to Premier League club Coventry City for £6 million, then a British record for a teenager. Keane got off to a great start, scoring two goals in his début against Derby County. During a successful season at Coventry, he played a major role in a stylish attacking side boasting the likes of Gary McAllister, Mustapha Hadji and Youssef Chippo. He scored 12 goals in 34 games.
After an impressive first season in the Premier League, Keane was signed by Italian Serie A club Inter Milan for a fee of £13 million in July 2000, signing a five-year contract. The Inter manager at the time was Marcello Lippi, who later said "At that time at Inter, they had a policy of going for young players and Robbie Keane was the best one that I saw." However, Keane's dream move to Italy soon soured when Lippi was sacked. Lippi's successor, Marco Tardelli, deemed Keane to be surplus to requirements and in December 2000, he was loaned out to Leeds United. Keane made 14 appearances for Inter in all competitions scoring three goals, his most memorable coming two minutes into the Italian Supercup against Lazio. He also scored against Ruch Chorzów in the UEFA Cup and US Lecce in the Coppa Italia.
His Leeds career got off to an impressive start, scoring 9 goals in 14 starts for the club before the Leeds manager, David O'Leary, made his loan deal permanent in May 2001 at an original cost of £12 million. 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 33 appearances, although he did manage a hat-trick in a 6–0 Football League Cup win at Leicester City on 9 October 2001.
Meanwhile, Leeds sunk deeper into debt and were forced to sell many players and Keane joined the exodus when he was sold to club Tottenham Hotspur just before the 2002–03 transfer deadline for a fee of £7 million.
On signing him for Tottenham, manager Glenn Hoddle said that Keane was ideally suited to Tottenham and could make White Hart Lane his "spiritual home" for years to come. Keane had an impressive debut at Spurs, winning a penalty during a 3–2 win over West Ham United. Keane's first goal for Tottenham came in a 2–1 win against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park. Although Spurs finished in a disappointing tenth place, Keane was their success story of the season, finishing as Tottenham's top scorer with 13 goals, including a spectacular hat-trick in a win over Everton at White Hart Lane.
In the 2003–04 season, Spurs battled with relegation, but Keane's goals played a major part in helping secure Tottenham's Premier League status. A hat-trick against Wolves, and a last minute penalty to equalise in the North London derby against Arsenal, despite Arsenal winning the Premier League at Tottenham, were highlights as Keane once again ended the season as Tottenham's top scorer with 16 goals, 14 in the league.
His third season, 2004–05, was more frustrating. Despite finishing with his highest return of goals in a season for Spurs, 17, he played second-fiddle to the likes of Jermain Defoe, Frédéric Kanouté and Mido for much of the season. The frustration culminated in Keane storming from the dugout towards the end of a game against Birmingham City in April 2005 after all the substitutes had been used, meaning he would not get a chance to appear. He was fined £10,000 and forced to train with the reserves after the outburst and his future at the club was thrown into doubt.
The 2005–06 season started as the previous one had ended, with Defoe being preferred to partner Mido in Tottenham's strikeforce. However, Defoe's strike-rate continued to disappoint and Keane's persistence paid off in November when manager Martin Jol eventually gave Keane a chance to replace Defoe and stake his claim. By March he had overtaken Mido as the top goalscorer at the club. Keane went on to finish the season with 16 league goals – making him the Premier League's joint fourth top goalscorer that season. He had also been made the vice-captain, taking the captaincy on occasions when Ledley King was not available.
Hoddle once said of Keane's personality:
"He's such a bubbly lad that anyone who meets him loves him."
Keane was involved in a training ground fight with teammate Edgar Davids in December 2005, but the pair subsequently made up publicly and were seen encouraging each other on the pitch. In February 2006, Inter's owner and president, Massimo Moratti, admitted his regret at letting Keane go after being impressed by his performances at Tottenham. Keane extended his commitment to Tottenham, signing a new four-year contract in March 2006. Keane was named as one of ten Spurs squad members to be struck down by norovirus on 6 May 2006. However, he still managed to play in their final game of the season against West Ham United.
Keane had a slow start to the 2006–07 season which was further set back by a knee ligament injury that Keane suffered against Middlesbrough on 5 December 2006. His coming back from injury marked the beginning of a return to form and a dynamic partnership with Dimitar Berbatov. Keane and Berbatov were jointly awarded the Premier League's Player of the Month Award for April 2007. Keane finished the season with a total of 22 goals in all competitions – the highest ever season tally of his career – scoring 15 goals in his last 15 appearances of the season.
Keane made his 200th appearance for Tottenham in the final game of the 2006–07 season against Manchester City scoring the first goal in a 2–1 victory that saw Tottenham secure fifth place in the league.
He signed a new five-year contract with Tottenham on 28 May 2007. On 26 December 2007 he became the thirteenth player in the history of the league to score 100 Premier League goals. 2007 proved to be a remarkable year for the striker with a total of 31 goals and 13 assists from just 40 starts. His tally of 19 league goals in the calendar year was the highest of any player in the Premier League throughout 2007.
He scored his 100th competitive goal for Tottenham in the 2–0 win against Sunderland on 19 January 2008, becoming the fifteenth Tottenham player to achieve this feat. On 24 February 2008 he won his first senior honour as a player as his Tottenham side won the first League Cup Final to be played at the new Wembley Stadium, beating Chelsea 2–1 after extra time. On 12 April 2008 Keane made his 250th appearance for Spurs in the 1–1 draw with Middlesbrough. Keane finished the 2007–08 season equal top scorer for Spurs with Berbatov, with 23 goals in all competitions. His 15 Premier League goals making him the first Spurs player to score double figures in the Premier League in 6 consecutive seasons. Keane in his Tottenham career won the player of year three times (2003–04, 2005–06 and 2007–08); the first player to do so.
His consistency and strike-rate attracted the attention of Premier League rivals Liverpool. Despite initial resistance to the sale and accusations of misconduct, Tottenham agreed to a £20.3 million deal for the player.
Liverpool publicly announced their interest in Keane on 1 July 2008. Amid accusations that Liverpool had unsettled the player, Tottenham Hotspur filed a complaint to the Premier League regarding the club's conduct. However, on 28 July 2008, Tottenham confirmed the sale of Keane for £19 million (plus a potential £1.3 million in performance based compensation). Keane agreed terms with Liverpool shortly afterwards, signing a four-year contract with the Merseyside club. Upon his arrival to Liverpool, Robbie Keane said, "I've been a Liverpool fan all my life, going back to when I was a kid growing up in Dublin, and I always had a Liverpool shirt on my back. So, to be here now as a Liverpool player is incredible and I couldn't be happier." Following the transfer, Tottenham withdrew their official complaint against Liverpool after the club made a donation to the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation and apologised for their behaviour prior to the deal. Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy publicly stated his dissatisfaction, saying he had been forced into transferring the player due to Liverpool's interference. Keane was given the squad number 7, and scored his first goal for Liverpool on 1 October 2008 in a Champions League win against PSV Eindhoven at Anfield. A second Champions League goal quickly followed scoring the opening goal in Liverpool's 1–1 draw with Atlético Madrid. Premier League goals were less forthcoming but he scored twice for Liverpool against West Bromwich Albion on 8 November. Upon scoring twice after a goalless spell he said:
"The goals have been a long time coming but deep down I knew they would. I might have worried about it when I was younger but not now".
Six weeks passed before Keane scored again but it was a crucial equaliser against Arsenal, giving Liverpool a 1–1 away draw against their league rivals. In the following Premier League match against Bolton Wanderers, Keane scored two more league goals to seal a 3–0 win for Liverpool. During the January transfer window, Tottenham Hotspur made an approach for the striker and Liverpool accepted the offer, allowing the Irishman to return to his former club.
Return to Tottenham Hotspur
Keane rejoined Tottenham on 2 February 2009, signing for a basic fee of £12 million, potentially rising to £16 million with add-ons. The deal meant that the cumulative transfer fees paid for Keane over his career amounted to around £75 million.
He signed a four-year contract with the north London club. Keane was one of three players to make returns to Tottenham during the transfer window, along with Jermain Defoe and Pascal Chimbonda. He was also made Tottenham vice-captain a week later, after often deputising for Ledley King during his first spell there. Keane scored his first goal since his return to the club on 4 March, opening the scoring in the crucial 4–0 home victory against Middlesbrough. He followed this up by scoring another vital goal, this time a last-minute equaliser, away to Sunderland in a 1–1 draw on 7 March.
Soon after Keane's return to White Hart Lane, railway service Virgin Trains ran an advertisement with the slogan "A Liverpool to London return faster than Robbie Keane." On his return to Liverpool on the final day of the season, he scored in a 3–1 defeat. He received a generally warm reception from the fans despite scoring against them.
On 31 July 2009, Keane captained Tottenham to winning the Premier League Asia Trophy in a pre-season competition in China. He scored twice in the 3–0 win over Hull City inside Beijing Workers Stadium. On 26 September 2009, Keane scored four goals in a 5–0 win over Burnley. During Tottenham's League Cup Fourth Round match, Keane scored one of two goals against Everton on 27 October 2009 at White Hart Lane. He continued his scoring form with another against Sunderland in their 2–0 home win on 7 November 2009.
On 1 February 2010, Keane signed for Celtic in a loan deal until the end of the 2009–10 season and was assigned the number 7 shirt, previously worn by Jimmy Johnstone and Henrik Larsson. After signing for Celtic, Keane said "The club is brilliant. I am a Celtic fan and did not have to ask much about it. I always wanted to play for Celtic. It's absolutely fantastic to be here."
He made his Celtic debut in a 1–0 defeat on 2 February at Rugby Park against Kilmarnock. He scored his first goal for Celtic in a 4–2 victory in the fifth round of the Scottish Cup against Dunfermline at East End Park. He scored his first goal in the SPL against Aberdeen in a 4–4 draw on 13 February. His first goal at Celtic Park proved to be the winner against Dundee United on 20 February. Keane's first Old Firm match against Rangers was on 28 February, with Celtic losing 1–0. On 13 March, Keane scored his first Celtic hat-trick in a 3–0 Scottish Cup win over Kilmarnock, and then scored two in a league clash against them two weeks later. Keane's penultimate match was a 2–1 Old Firm win over Rangers on 4 May his last match for Celtic came against Hearts on 9 May, he scored the first goal in a 2–1 victory. He stated that he enjoyed his time at Celtic and that it had given him back his 'hunger for football'.
West Ham United (loan)
On 30 January 2011, Keane joined West Ham United on loan for the remainder of the season. Keane made his debut for West Ham on 2 February in a 3–1 victory over Blackpool at Bloomfield Road, scoring his first goal in the process. West Ham had an option to extend the deal by two years if they avoided relegation from the Premier League. However, in May 2011 West Ham were relegated and Keane returned to Tottenham.
After playing one match for the newly reformed New York Cosmos in Paul Scholes's testimonal match Keane joined LA Galaxy of Major League Soccer, becoming one of the club's three allowed designated players, alongside David Beckham and Landon Donovan. The Galaxy traded their previous third Designated Player, Juan Pablo Ángel, to Los Angeles rivals Chivas USA to make room for Keane. He made his debut on 20 August 2011, in a game against the San Jose Earthquakes, and scored his first goal for his new team in the 21st minute. His first CONCACAF Champions League goal was scored in September 2011 against Monarcas Morelia of Mexico. Keane assisted the winning goal for Donovan in the 72nd minute of the 2011 MLS Cup Final on 20 November as the Galaxy defeated the Houston Dynamo by a 1–0 score.
Aston Villa (loan)
On 8 January 2012, Keane agreed to move on loan to Aston Villa for two months, until the new MLS season began in March. Keane trained with the Villa squad on 9 and 10 January and completed the move on 12 January 2012.
He made his debut at Villa Park in a 1–1 draw with Everton on 14 January, coming on as an 81st minute substitute for Stephen Warnock. Keane then made his full debut in Villa's next match against Wolverhampton Wanderers, in which he scored his 1st and 2nd goals for the club including the winner in a 3–2 victory. On 5 February, Keane scored the equaliser against Newcastle United, in an eventual 2–1 loss. This was his third goal, for Villa, in four league games.
Keane's goal for Aston Villa away at Newcastle United took his Premier League total to 126 and made him the 11th highest Premier League scorer. He returned to his parent club following Aston Villa's game with Wigan Athletic on 25 February 2012. He made a total of seven appearances for Villa, scoring three goals and providing one assist.
Return to the Galaxy
Keane scored a last-minute penalty to complete a 3–1 win in the 2012 MLS Cup Final, once again against Houston Dynamo. At the start of the 2013 season, in the absence of Landon Donovan, Keane was promoted to Captain by head coach Bruce Arena. On opening day, he had a part in each goal as Galaxy beat Chicago Fire 4–0. Keane assisted to teammate Mike Magee twice as Magee scored a hat-trick before himself finding the net in injury time. On 3 August 2013, Keane scored LA Galaxy's third goal against Juventus in a 3–1 win for the Galaxy.
On 6 March 2014, Keane signed a new multi-year contract extension with the LA Galaxy.
On 3 December 2014, Keane was awarded the Volkswagen MLS Most Valuable Player Award after a season in which he recorded a career high 19 goals and 14 assists in 29 appearances. Four days later, he scored the 111th-minute winner in the 2014 MLS Cup final which the Galaxy won 2–1 against the New England Revolution for a record 5th title.
Keane was part of the so-called "golden generation" of Republic of Ireland youth football of the late 1990s. Under the guidance of Brian Kerr, the unfancied Republic won the UEFA U-16 and U-18 European championships in 1998, and Robbie was part of the victorious U-18 side in Cyprus. In 1999, he played at the World Youth Cup in Nigeria, where the Republic reached the last 16 before going out on penalties to the hosts. His first Ireland cap came against the Czech Republic in Olomouc in March 1998, scoring his first senior goal against Malta in October that year. He won his 70th cap in the Republic's 5–0 defeat of San Marino, scoring a hat-trick along the way.
Keane was selected by Mick McCarthy as part of the Republic of Ireland squad for the 2002 FIFA World Cup in South Korea and Japan, scoring three goals in Ireland's four games. Keane scored an injury-time equaliser against Germany in the group stage match as the Irish surprised many by holding the former champions to a draw. This was the first of only three goals which Germany conceded in the tournament (the other two were scored in the final by Brazil's Ronaldo). In the Round of 16 match against Spain, he scored a last-minute penalty to force the game into extra-time and a penalty shoot-out after the Irish had gone a goal down early in the first half, but eventually lost 3–2 on penalties.
Keane became Ireland's leading goal scorer during a match against the Faroe Islands on 13 October 2004 when he scored his 22nd and 23rd goals. The first of these goals broke Niall Quinn's old record of 21 goals.
Although the Republic of Ireland failed to qualify for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Keane scored four goals in the Republic's eight qualifying matches. Following Steve Staunton's appointment as the manager of the Republic of Ireland, Keane was appointed captain. In their first game under Staunton, Keane scored the second goal in the 3–0 victory against Sweden at Lansdowne Road, and celebrated the final match at the Lansdowne Road stadium, against San Marino, with a hat trick. Giovanni Trapattoni, who took over from Staunton, maintained Keane as team captain starting in his first game in charge against Serbia on 24 May 2008 which ended in a 1–1 draw.
As captain, Keane led the team to a second-place finish in the 2010 World Cup qualifying. He scored his 40th international goal against Cyprus, a header in the 83rd minute, which secured a 2–1 win for Ireland. Along with Dimitar Berbatov, he topped the scoring chart in the qualifying group with 5 goals in 10 games. His 41st international goal came in the controversial 2010 World Cup play-off with France on 18 November 2009. This was his 26th goal in competitive (non-friendly) internationals.
Keane won his 100th cap against Argentina in a 1–0 friendly defeat on 11 August 2010. This match was also the first international football match at the new Aviva Stadium. He scored his 45th international goal against Russia in October 2010. It was the first time Ireland had lost a game in which Robbie Keane had scored. Previously, Ireland had won 26 and drew 10 of the 36 games in which Keane had scored (Note: This counts the 1–1 result against Spain in the knockout stages of the 2002 World Cup as a draw. Ireland lost in a penalty shootout). He broke the record for most appearances as a captain on 26 March 2011, beating Andy Townsend's record and also scored a goal in the process.
Keane took part in the inaugural Nations Cup for Ireland, which took place in February and May 2011. He ended the tournament as top scorer, despite not having played in the Republic's first game against Wales. Keane scored three goals in total, two against Northern Ireland in a 5–0 victory, and what proved to be the tournament's winning goal in a 1–0 victory over Scotland. The Republic of Ireland emerged from the competition victorious, having won all three of their games without conceding a goal.
On 4 June 2011, Robbie Keane scored twice against the Republic of Macedonia in qualification for UEFA Euro 2012 to become the first Irish player to score more than 50 goals. Following the game with Macedonia his total stood at 51 goals. Following the Republic of Ireland's play-off hammering of Estonia which secured qualification for UEFA Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine, Keane added another brace to bring his goal tally to 53. After a disappointing tournament in Poland, Keane brought his international tally to 54, with a late penalty against Kazakhstan in Ireland's opening World Cup 2014 qualification match. This left the score at 1–1 before Kevin Doyle's effort a minute later secured a winning start to the campaign. On 2 June 2013 Keane scored the third and fourth goals of the game, his 55th and 56th goals for Ireland, against Georgia in a 4–0 win.
On 7 June 2013, Keane played his 126th game for Ireland becoming the new record appearance holder, breaking Shay Given's previous record of 125 appearances. He also scored his second hat-trick of his international career in the same game against the Faroe Islands scoring his, 57th 58th and 59th goal in a 3–0 win for Ireland. Keane scored his 60th goal for Ireland against Sweden on 6 September 2013, in a 2–1 loss. He went on to score his 61st and 62nd goals for Ireland against Kazakhstan on 15 October 2013 in a 3–1 win and against Latvia on 15 November 2013 in a 3–0 victory, both games being played in Dublin. He missed a chance to score his 63rd goal against Costa Rica in Philadelphia on 6 June 2014 when he missed a penalty in a friendly game.
On 11 October 2014 he scored his third international hat-trick, his 63rd, 64th and 65th goals, in a 7–0 European qualifying win against Gibraltar in the Aviva Stadium. The treble concluded with a penalty in the 18th minute of the match. This took him to a record 21 goals in European Championship qualifiers, surpassing the 20 by Turkey's Hakan Şükür.
Style of play
A talented, quick, and agile player, Keane is capable of playing anywhere along the front line, due to his ability to score and create goals. Throughout his career, he has been deployed as a striker, and also in more creative roles, as a second striker, as a winger, or as an attacking midfielder. A technically gifted, intelligent, and hard-working forward, Keane is also renowned for his pace, dribbling skills, and creativity, and has also stood out for his leadership throughout his career.
On 7 June 2008, he married former Miss Ireland contestant Claudine Palmer, in Ballybrack, South Dublin. The couple had their first child on 10 May 2009, a boy named Robert Ronan Keane Jr.
- As of match played 16 August 2015
|Club performance||League||Cup||League Cup||Continental||Total|
|England||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|Coventry City||Premier League||31||12||3||0||0||0||–||34||12|
|Italy||League||Coppa Italia||Supercoppa Italiana||Europe||Total|
|England||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|2000–01||Leeds United (loan)||Premier League||18||9||2||0||–||–||20||9|
|Scotland||League||Scottish Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|England||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|West Ham United (loan)||9||2||1||0||–||–||10||2|
|United States||League||US Open Cup||MLS Cup Playoffs||North America||Total|
|2011||Los Angeles Galaxy||MLS||4||2||0||0||3||1||2||1||9||4|
|England||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|2012||Aston Villa (loan)||Premier League||6||3||1||0||–||–||7||3|
|United States||League||US Open Cup||MLS Cup Playoffs||North America||Total|
|2012||Los Angeles Galaxy||MLS||28||16||0||0||6||6||1||1||35||23|
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- Robbie Keane career statistics at Soccerbase
- Robbie Keane at National-Football-Teams.com
- Robbie Keane – Goals in International Matches Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation
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