Robbie Keane: He can’t play for his country, so he plays country 'n' western
IF he ever decides to hang up his football boots, Robbie Keane could carve himself out a new career as a pub singer.
While fans around the country fretted about whether or not the Irish soccer captain would be fit enough to play in the crucial match against Armenia tonight, Robbie blew off some steam and took to the stage in Gibney's in Malahide on Sunday night.
He gave what was widely accepted as a credible performance of the Garth Brooks classic 'If Tomorrow Never Comes' and led the crowd in a rousing cheer for his team-mates. "We're going to beat Armenia. Come on the boys in green," he shouted mid-song.
While some were aghast at the thought of the national captain partying two nights before a crunch match, those in the pub said Robbie already knew his gluteal muscle injury had left him side-lined.
While some callers to RTE's radio programme Liveline yesterday afternoon questioned the wisdom of Robbie's musical performance, other fans dismissed the controversy, pointing out that Robbie was not drinking and he was there at 7.30pm. "What's wrong with somebody getting up and singing a song?," asked caller Karl Phillips.
"People have to enjoy themselves. He's a terrific guy to be out with, he's really jolly. Let him enjoy himself, he's only a young lad," he added.
A veteran of the pub sing-song, YouTube is littered with videos purporting to show Robbie belting out the hits in London and Ireland. And he appears to be able to hold a tune with only a few off-key notes marring his latest performance.
The north Dublin pub is a regular haunt for the footballer. He famously attracted the ire of Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp after bringing his team-mates on a pre-Christmas party that took in the Malahide establishment and Copperface Jacks in the city centre. Redknapp had given the go-ahead for a golfing trip to Dublin and was left fuming when he learnt that the players were spotted drinking and visiting nightclubs. The 2009 party was the beginning of the end for Keane at the London club.