Wednesday 21 February 2018

'Ireland's Suarez will be impossible to replace'

Robbie Keane is Ireland's answer to Luis Suarez says Niall Quinn
Robbie Keane is Ireland's answer to Luis Suarez says Niall Quinn

Garry Doyle

Niall Quinn has admitted he fears for Irish football's future when Robbie Keane retires from the international scene.

While the Irish captain is frequently criticised for his sometimes woeful decision making, Quinn speaks from the opposite side of the theoretical chamber with regard to the 33-year-old's worth, dubbing him Ireland's answer to Luis Suarez.

"There'll be concern (for Irish football) when Robbie's gone," said Quinn. "There are other strikers, Anthony Stokes put a marker down in the recent internationals, Kevin Doyle is back after being unfairly treated by (Giovanni) Trapattoni.

"You look at Jonathan Walters, Conor Sammon and Shane Long -- all good players.

"But the reality is Robbie is our Suarez, our (Sergio) Aguero, and we don't have a natural successor yet.

"Anybody who gets picked to go in after him has an impossible act to follow to match his goal tally. It has just been phenomenal. Nor is it an accident that he gets these goals because I saw the way he applies himself.

"I'll remember his training as long as I live. All these players could do worse than watch him in training from time to time rather than doing their own thing, because someone will pick it up.

"Hopefully the natural mantle will be taken on. It's not the problem yet; when he stops it will be a bigger problem. He is a national treasure."

Irish Independent

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