Friday, July 8, 2011

8 July 1980 - Ireland's Lucky Striker

On 8 July 1980, future Tottenham Hotspur striker and all-time Republic of Ireland scoring leader Robbie Keane was born in Dublin.

Keane began his professional career in 1997 with Wolverhampton and scored twice on his debut for the club. After only two seasons there, he moved to Coventry City in 1999 for £6 million, a British record at the time for a teenager, and again notched a brace on his club debut. He stayed with Coventry for only a single season and spent the next three seasons with three different clubs: Inter (where he made only 6 appearances in the 2000-01 season), then Leeds United (where he played from 2000-02), and Tottenham.

He enjoyed relative stability at Tottenham, playing there for a total of eight seasons from 2002 to 2011, broken by short spells at Liverpool (19 appearances in the 2008-09 season), Celtic (16 appearances in the 2009-10 season), and West Ham (9 appearances in the 2010-11 season). Over the course of his club career, he has scored 210 goals in 549 appearances.

In 1998, while still with Wolves, Keane earned his first cap for Ireland. He has since played for them a total of 108 times. In September 2004, he scored his 21st goal for Ireland to match the record set by Niall Quinn, then passed it with a brace the next month. His current tally stands at 51 after he scored both goals in Ireland's 2-0 win over Macedonia in a Euro 2012 qualifier played in June 2011.

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