Former Tottenham Hotspur and Republic of Ireland striker Robbie Keane has announced his retirement from professional football.
Keane, 38, scored a record 68 goals in 146 international appearances and was recently named as part of new Republic manager Mick McCarthy’s backroom team.
The former Republic captain scored 325 goals in 737 appearances for 10 clubs during a 23-year playing career.
Keane retired from international football in 2016.
“Today, after 23 wonderful years, I am formally announcing my retirement as a professional footballer,” Keane said in a statement.
“From Crumlin United around the world to the likes of Milan, London and Los Angeles, I could never have imagined the path my football life would take.
“It has exceeded all the hopes I had as a football-mad boy growing up in Dublin.”
“Leaving home at 15 years of age to pursue my professional career in England seems a lifetime ago now. I was a street footballer full of hope armed with huge ambitions and a determination to succeed.
“All I needed was that one chance.I would like to pay a special thanks to Wolverhampton Wanderers for believing in me and giving me that chance.”
Distinguished club career
He enjoyed two successful spells as a player with Spurs, and his other clubs included Inter Milan. Leeds United, Liverpool, Celtic (on loan) and LA Galaxy.
“From Wolves, my professional career followed a path that took me far and wide, giving my family and I the opportunity to meet and work with so many wonderful people and experience several different countries and cultures.
“I have always wanted to test myself and strive to be the best that I could be, so I embraced new challenges be it at Coventry City, Inter Milan, Leeds United and then possibly the most successful period of my club football career with Tottenham Hotspur.
“I had the great privilege to represent and captain Tottenham over 238 games. I had many wonderful times there and I will look back on my days at White Hart Lane with great fondness. The club will always hold a special place in my heart.
“There were shorter times spent at Glasgow Celtic and Liverpool, two truly iconic global institutions, and then West Ham United, before Los Angeles became our home away from home. We spent five hugely successful and rewarding years, both on and off the field, with LA Galaxy.
“After a spell with Aston Villa, my playing career concluded with an exciting few months with ATK, a club which also gave me my first experience of management.
“Playing and captaining my country has been the highlight of my career. I enjoyed every moment of the most incredible journey with the Ireland team over an 18-year period and as I have said many times before, words cannot express how proud I am to be Irish. I hope I have made the fans proud wearing the green jersey and armband.
Source BBC News