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Robert David "Robbie" Keane (born 8 July 1980 in Tallaghtmarker, Dublinmarker) is the current captain of the Republic of Ireland national football team, and a first-team striker for Tottenham Hotspur. He is the all-time record goalscorer for the Irish national side, as well as the 10th highest goalscorer in Premier League history.

He began his professional career at Wolverhampton Wanderers, scoring twice in 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, scored a landmark 100th competitive goal for Tottenham and won his first senior honour, the Football League Cup. He moved to Liverpool in July 2008 but he spent only six months at the club and soon returned to Tottenham, where he was made first team captain.

Keane is best known for his performances at Tottenham, where he gained repute as a consistent goalscorer and often finished the season having scored the most goals on his team. Keane's pedigree was reinforced when he became Ireland's record goalscorer in 2004 and Steve Staunton appointed him national team captain in 2006.

Club career

Early career

Keane (Son of Josh and Ellie Keane) started his football career with South Dublin schoolboy side Crumlin United where his talent was 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.

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 plaudits from both the press and Wolves manager Colin Lee. He went on to be the club's leading scorer, hitting the back of the net 16 times 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 starlet and managing director John Richards stated his reluctance to sell Keane unless their asking price was met.

Coventry City

Just weeks into the 1999-2000 season, he was sold to Premier League club Coventry City for £6m, then a British record for a teenager. During a successful season at Coventry, he would play a major role in a stylish attacking side boasting the likes of Carlton Palmer, Gary McAllister, Mustapha Hadji, Youssef Chippo and Gavin Strachan. The Sky Blues enjoyed a two month unbeaten run in the autumn of 1999 culminating in a memorable win over arch rivals Aston Villa, which endeared him greatly to all Coventry fans. He scored 12 goals in 34 games, many of them showpiece finishes, and came to both national and international prominence. Although his 12 goals and one season stay at the club may seem unremarkable today, his popularity among Sky Blues fans remains undiminished, with many pointing to his departure to Inter Milan as the principal catalyst in the club's eventual relegation after 34 consecutive seasons.

Inter Milan

Marcello Lippi of Inter Milan succeeded in obtaining Keane's signature, for a fee of £13 million. 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. Keane's ambition refused to let him stagnate in Italy and in December 2000 he was loaned out to Leeds United after only 13 appearances and two goals for Inter in all competitions.

Leeds United

His Leeds career got off to an impressive 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 £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 36 appearances. Meanwhile, Leeds' financial troubles forced the club to sell many of its players and Keane joined the exodus when he was sold to Tottenham Hotspur just before the 2002-03 transfer deadline for a fee of £7 million.

Tottenham Hotspur

On signing him for Tottenham, manager Glenn Hoddle said that Keane was ideally suited to Tottenham and could make White Hart Lanemarker 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. Keane's first goal for Tottenham came in a 2–1 win against Blackburn Roversmarker at Ewood Parkmarker. 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 Lanemarker.

In the 2003–04 season, Spurs battled with relegation, but Keane's goals played a major part in helping secure Tottenham's Premiership status. A hat-trick against Wolves and a last minute penalty to equalise in the North London derby against Arsenal were highlights as Keane once again ended the season as Tottenham's top scorer with 16 goals.

His third season, 2004–05, was more frustrating. Despite finishing with his highest return of goals in a season for Tottenham, 17, he played second-fiddle to the likes of Jermain Defoe, Fredi Kanoute 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.

He knuckled down after this incident but 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.

He grabbed the chance with both hands, started playing some of the best football of his career and by March had overtaken Mido as the top goalscorer at the club. Keane would go 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."
Edgar Davids and Keane were involved in a training ground fight in December 2005, but the pair subsequently made up publicly and were seen encouraging each other on the pitch.

In February 2006, Inter Milan'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 FA 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 started in 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 Premiership 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. He is 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 Stadiummarker, 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 Premiership 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, allowing Keane to join the team he supported as a child, even though he had pledged that he would remain at Tottenham just one month earlier.


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. 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.In his first interview as a Liverpool player, Keane expressed no regret over the move and revealed he would wear the number 7 shirt; a number previously worn by Liverpool heavyweights Kenny Dalglish and Kevin Keegan. Keane scored his first goal for Liverpool on 1 October 2008 in a Champions League win against PSV Eindhoven at Anfield. Premier League goals were less forthcoming but he scored twice for Liverpool against West Bromwich Albion on 8 November. The double after a goalless spell came as a relief to the striker but he reflected upon the situation with maturity:

"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."
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

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, Robbie captained Tottenham to winning the Premier League Asia Trophy in a pre-season competition in Chinamarker. He scored twice in the 3-0 win over Hull City inside Beijing National Stadiummarker. On 26 September 2009, Keane scored four goals in a 5-0 win over Burnley. During Tottenham's Carling Cup Fourth Round match, Keane scored one of two goals against Everton on 27 October 2009 at White Hart Lanemarker.. He continued his scoring form with another against Sunderland in their 2-0 home win on 7th November 2009.

International career

Robbie Keane has already achieved much in the international arena. He was part of the "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 Nigeriamarker, where the Republic reached the last 16 before going out on penalties to the hosts.

He made his first senior appearance for the Republic of Ireland against the Czech Republic in Olomoucmarker 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 part of the 2002 World Cup campaign in South Korea and Japan, scoring three goals in the Republic of 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 goal and only goal Germany conceded in the tournament, except the final. 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.

Although the Republic of Ireland failed to qualify for the 2006 World Cup, Keane scored four goals in the Republic's eight qualifying matches and remains their most prolific goalscorer, topping the national team scoring charts.

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 Roadmarker, and celebrated the final match at the Lansdowne Roadmarker stadium, against San Marino, with a hat trick. Giovanni Trapattoni, who took over from Staunton, confirmed his confidence in Keane's leadership by handing him the captain's armband ahead of the Republic of Ireland's match against Serbia on 24 May 2008 which ended in a 1–1 draw.

As the new 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 World Cup play-off encounter against France on 18th Nov. 2009. This was his 26th goal in competitive (non-friendly) internationals. Ireland have never lost a game in which Robbie Keane has scored.

Personal life

On 7 June 2008 he married his long time girlfriend, 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.


Coventry City

Inter Milan

Tottenham Hotspur

Republic of Ireland


  • Player of the Month Award (August 1999, January 2001, April 2007)

Career statistics

All-Time Club Performance
Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
App Goals App Goals App Goals App Goals App Goals
Wolves(First Division) 1997-98 38 11 3 0 4 0 45 11
1998-99 33 11 2 2 4 3 39 16
1999-00 2 2 1 0 3 2
Total 73 24 5 2 9 3 87 29
Premier League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
Coventry City(Premier League) 1999–2000 31 12 3 0 34 12
Total 31 12 3 0 34 12
Serie A Coppa Italia Supercoppa Italiana Europe Total
Inter Milan

(Serie A)
2000–01 6 0 3 1 1 1 4 1 14 3
Total 6 0 3 1 1 1 4 1 14 3
Premier League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
Leeds United(Premier League) 2000–01 18 9 2 0 20 9
2001–02 25 3 2 3 6 3 33 9
2002–03 3 1 3 1
Total 46 13 2 0 2 3 6 3 56 19
Tottenham Hotspur(Premier League) 2002–03 29 13 1 0 2 0 32 13
2003–04 34 14 3 1 4 1 41 16
2004–05 35 11 6 3 4 3 45 17
2005–06 36 16 1 0 1 0 38 16
2006–07 27 11 5 5 3 1 9 5 44 22
2007–08 36 15 3 2 5 2 10 4 54 23
Total 197 80 19 11 19 7 19 9 254 107
Liverpool(Premier League) 2008–09 19 5 1 0 1 0 7 2 28 7
Total 19 5 1 0 1 0 7 2 28 7
Tottenham Hotspur(Premier League) 2008–09 14 5 - - - - - - 14 5
2009–10 12 6 - - 2 2 - - 14 8
Total 26 11 - - 2 2 - - 28 13
Career Totals 398 145 33 14 34 16 36 15 501 190
Correct as of 7th November 2009

International goals

Scores and results list Ireland's goal tally first.
Date Venue Opponent Result Competition Scored(Tally)
1998-10-14 Lansdowne Roadmarker, Dublinmarker 5–0 UEFA Euro 2000 qualifying 2 (2)
1999-09-01 Lansdowne Road, Dublin 2–1 UEFA Euro 2000 qualifying 1 (3)
1999-09-08 Ta' Qali Stadiummarker, Mdinamarker 3–2 UEFA Euro 2000 qualifying 1 (4)
1999-11-13 Lansdowne Road, Dublin 1–1 UEFA Euro 2000 qualifying 1 (5)
2000-02-23 Lansdowne Road, Dublin 2–0 Friendly match 1 (6)
2000-09-02 Amsterdam Arenamarker, Amsterdammarker 2–2 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification 1 (7)
2001-11-10 Lansdowne Road, Dublin 2–0 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification 1 (8)
2002-02-13 Lansdowne Road, Dublin 2–0 Friendly match 1 (9)
2002-03-27 Lansdowne Road, Dublin 3–0 Friendly match 1 (10)
2002-06-05 Kashima Stadiummarker, Kashima, Ibaraki 1–1 2002 FIFA World Cup 1 (11)
2002-06-11 International Stadium of Yokohamamarker, Yokohama 3–0 2002 FIFA World Cup 1 (12)
2002-06-16 Suwon Big Bird Stadium, Suwonmarker 1–1 2002 FIFA World Cup 1 (13)
2002-08-21 Helsinki Olympic Stadiummarker, Helsinkimarker 3–0 Friendly match 1 (14)
2003-06-07 Lansdowne Road, Dublin 2–1 UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying 1 (15)
2003-06-11 Lansdowne Road, Dublin 2–0 UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying 1 (16)
2003-11-18 Lansdowne Road, Dublin 3–0 Friendly match 2 (18)
2004-03-31 Lansdowne Road, Dublin 2–1 Friendly match 1 (19)
2004-06-05 Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam 1–0 Friendly match 1 (20)
2004-09-04 Lansdowne Road, Dublin 3–0 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification 1 (21)
2004-10-13 Lansdowne Road, Dublin 2–0 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification 2 (23)
2004-11-16 Lansdowne Road, Dublin 1–0 Friendly match 1 (24)
2005-06-04 Lansdowne Road, Dublin 2–2 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification 1 (25)
2006-03-01 Lansdowne Road, Dublin 3–0 Friendly match 1 (26)
2006-11-15 Lansdowne Road, Dublin 5–0 UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying 3 (29)
2007-08-22 NRGi Parkmarker, Aarhusmarker 4–0 Friendly match 2 (31)
2007-11-17 Millennium Stadiummarker,Cardiffmarker 2–2 UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying 1 (32)
2008-05-29 Craven Cottagemarker, London 1–0 Friendly match 1 (33)
2008-08-20 Ullevaal Stadiummarker, Oslomarker 1–1 Friendly match 1 (34)
2008-10-15 Croke Parkmarker, Dublin 1–0 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification 1 (35)
2009-02-11 Croke Park, Dublin 2–1 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification 2 (37)
2009-04-01 Stadio San Nicolamarker, Barimarker 1-1 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification 1 (38)
2009-05-29 Craven Cottagemarker, London 1–1 Friendly match 1 (39)
2009-09-05 GSP Stadiummarker, Nicosia 2-1 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification 1 (40)
2009-11-18 Stade De Francemarker, Paris 1–1 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification Play-off 1 (41)


  2. "Keane seals £12m Tottenham return". BBC Sport (2009-02-02). Retrieved on 2009-02-03.
  4. Liverpool 3-0 Bolton Paul Fletcher, BBC Online. Retrieved on 2008-12-27.
  5. Liverpool agree to sell Keane back to Spurs. The Guardian (2009-02-02). Retrieved on 2009-02-02.
  6. Fifield, Dominic (2009-02-02). Redknapp delight as £16m Keane makes Spurs return. The Guardian. Retrieved on 2009-03-05.
  7. Ducker, James (2009-02-02). Robbie Keane eager to make up for lost time and win back the Tottenham Hotspur fans. The Times. Retrieved on 2009-02-03.
  8. Live – Transfer deadline day. BBC Sport (2009-02-02). Retrieved on 2009-02-02.
  9. Keane given Tottenham vice-captaincy. BBC Sport (2009-02-03). Retrieved on 2009-02-03.
  10. Carrick leaps to Jol's defence and slams 'unbelievable' Spurs board
  11. Fulham 3, Tottenham Hotspur 3: Keane's departure hastens blustering Jol towards the exit
  12. Spurs 2 Torino 0: Spurs bask in seventh heaven
  13. Jol damns Defoe with faint praise after Tottenham's flood of goals
  14. West Ham United 1 Tottenham Hotspur 1: Green shows England credentials with penalty save
  15. Keane on target as Spurs beat Boro 4-0
  16. Tottenham 4-0 Middlesbrough: Robbie Keane back on Spurs' scoresheet
  17. Tottenham 4-0 Middlesbrough
  18. Sunderland 1-1 Tottenham: Robbie Keane stuns Black Cats
  19. [ Sunderland 1-1 Tottenham
  20. Train advert rubs it in for Liverpool flop Keane
  21. Liverpool 3-1 Tottenham. BBC Sport (2009-05-24). Retrieved on 2009-05-25.
  22. Tottenham 5-0 Burnley
  23. Tottenham 2-0 Everton
  24. Tottenham Hotspur 2 - 0 Everton - Toffees trounced by Spurs
  25. Baby joy for Robbie & Claudine Keane
  26. Just 13 days after giving birth Robbie Keane's WAG Claudine slips into a skin-tight dress


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