'Our Zlatan' Robbie is a future Ireland boss - Dunne
Published 13/04/2016 | 02:30
Richard Dunne believes that Robbie Keane is 'Ireland's Ibrahimovic' and is convinced he has a role to play in France this summer - before gaining the experience that will one day see him managing his country.
Keane has adapted to a role of squad member under Martin O'Neill with no guarantee that he will start games in the Euros.
But his fellow Tallaght man Dunne is sure that Ireland's record goalscorer will be a part of Irish football's short and long-term future.
"He has to be part of the squad, he's Ireland's Ibrahimovic, he's the person who, if things are not going well, everyone will look to him to be the one to score," said Dunne.
"Robbie is the person who has scored in World Cups, scored important goals all through his career. If he's not in the team he's one character you can rely on to be ready when he's called upon."
Dunne, speaking ahead of a punditry appearance on TV3, has no interest in moving into coaching himself. He knows, however, that Keane is determined to go down that road.
"'Over last five or six years, it's something that he got interested in. I think going to America has given him a new lease of life, and a bit more input into how things are worked out. That will benefit him in the future," he said.
"Once he's qualified, and done his badges, I'm sure for himself he'll want to do some sort of apprenticeship at a club. I think in future, he'll definitely be an Ireland manager."