Today, after 23 wonderful years, I am formally announcing my...

Robbie Keane, text's publication from 2018-11-28 14:53:43 :
Today, after 23 wonderful years, I am formally announcing my retirement as a professional footballer.

Leaving home aged 15 to pursue my professional career in England seems a lifetime ago. I was a street footballer full of hope & armed with huge ambitions. All I needed was that one chance.

I would like to pay special thanks to Wolverhampton Wanderers for believing in me & giving me that chance when I made my professional debut in 1997 against Norwich City. I will never forget that day, I was fortunate enough to score both goals in a 2-0 win.

From Wolves I embraced new challenges at Coventry City, Inter Milan, Leeds United & then possibly the most successful period of my club football career with Tottenham Hotspur, a club that will always hold a special place in my heart. I then enjoyed time at Celtic, Liverpool, West Ham United, & LA Galaxy.

My playing career concluded with an exciting few months with ATK, a club which gave me my first experience of management.

Playing & captaining my country has been the highlight of my career. I enjoyed every moment with Ireland over an 18-year period. Words cannot express how proud I am to be Irish.

It was so important for me to have a good connection with the fans of the teams I played with. Your support was vital to me, thank you.

Thank you to the teammates, managers & staff I have worked with; I was honoured to learn from you all.

Thanks to my parents Anne & my late father Robbie Snr, my brother & sisters for their support.

To my wife Claudine & my sons Robert and Hudson - thank you for your love, support & encouragement. I am so incredibly grateful for all you have done for me.

I take great pride in having scored 325 goals in 737 club appearances & 68 goals in 146 international appearances for the Republic of Ireland. But for me, it was about making my family proud & the friendships that this wonderful game has given me.

With the closing of one chapter comes an exciting new adventure. I am honoured & excited to be working alongside Mick McCarthy, Terry Connor and the Irish international team & I hope to use my experiences to contribute towards a bright future in Irish football.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.


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