Friday 22 September 2017

Robbie Keane: Robert Junior thinks Messi is the best player in the world, not his dad

Robbie Keane with his son Robbie Junior, before the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier against the Faroe Islands
Robbie Keane with his son Robbie Junior, before the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier against the Faroe Islands
Declan Whooley

Declan Whooley

Robbie Keane says that five year-old son Robert is his biggest critic and is in no doubt that the best player in the world is not the LA Galaxy player, but Barcelona star Lionel Messi.

The American side are in Ireland ahead of their friendly with Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght and Ireland's record goal scorer believes that his biggest critic comes from within his own household.

Speaking to The Star, Claudine and Robbie admitted that despite a haul of 65 international goals, appearances at both World Cups and European Championships and a club career that has spanned Serie A, the premier League and MLS, Robert junior has eyes for only one player.

"I'll ask him (Robert Junior) who the best footballer in the world is," Claudine told the paper.

"And you know the way four 0r five-year old will sya their dad, but he's straight out with Messi. There is no two ways about it."

The 34 year-old former Liverpool and Spurs striker says he has no argument with his son's logic who is always keen to find out more about the Barcelona star.

Robbie Keane with his son Robbie Junior, before the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier against the Faroe Islands
Robbie Keane with his son Robbie Junior, before the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier against the Faroe Islands

"He'll ask, 'Did you play against Messi', and I'll say, 'Yeah' and I have his jersey in the house (from Ireland's 1-0 defeat to Argentina in 2010, Keane's 100th international cap)," he revealed.

"He'll say, 'Yeah, but you didn't beat him, did you?' I'll tell him we lost 1-0 and he'll say, 'Yeah, coz he's the best in the world'. I suppose I have to agree," he added.

Keane admitted this week that he has no plans on bringing the curtain down on his international career anytime soon, before agreeing that the Euro 2016 campaign could offer the fitting opportunity.

"It's not guaranteed," he stressed, "But there is certainly a chance that would be the case.

"The Euros in 2012 is something you want to forget about. I don't think about it too much but look it, I just want to do my best for the country. If that's getting to another Euros then great, the whole country wants that and that's why we play the game to play in these tournaments.

"The World Cup and the Euros, you don't get any bigger than that. If we get there it will be great for me and to finish off on that would be fantastic."

The skipper was benched for the November loss to Scotland and faces a battle to regain his place in Martin O'Neill's side for next month's Aviva Stadium encounter with Poland.

He feels in good health, though, and knows that the pressure to deliver for Galaxy will keep him sharp.

"I have to be on my game," he says, "People are relying on me in the team to be that guy, especially being a designated player. You have to kind of produce more often than not. That's a challenge in itself and something I enjoy that motivates me."

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