ROBBIE KEANE says that sealing qualification for Euro 2012 last night in Dublin was the highlight of his 13-year Ireland career, writes Aidan Fitzmaurice.
Keane led the Republic to a 5-1 aggregate win over Estonia to seal a place at the finals in Poland and Ukraine, a big turnaround from recent campaigns when the Irish team finished in fourth place in their qualifying groups and never came within a sniff of qualification.
"That was the best moment of my career in a green jersey," said Keane. "Being captain of your country and leading your country to the European Championships, it doesn't get any better than that.
"You could see the scenes after the game and what it meant to people. This is why you play football, why you want to be involved in the game, you see the reaction of people at the game last night and it's all worthwhile.
"These moments don't come around too often so we will enjoy them.
"We had nothing to lose last night. I don't think we were ever going to lose heavily and not go to the European Championships but we still had to be cautious.
"It was quiet last night in terms of the tempo of the game but the job was already done on Friday," added Keane.