International news

Robbie Keane: I'd love to coach Ireland

February 12, 2013
By ESPN staff

Republic of Ireland captain Robbie Keane has revealed that he would love the chance to manage his country one day.

Giovanni Trapattoni
PA PhotosThe upcoming World Cup qualifiers could decide the future of both Keane and Giovanni Trapattoni

Keane, 32, is Ireland's all-time leading scorer with 54 goals and has competed at both the 2002 World Cup and 2012 European Championship.

The former Inter Milan and Tottenham striker is currently contracted to MLS outfit Los Angeles Galaxy until 2014, but intends to move into management when his playing career comes to an end.

And Keane is determined to fly the flag for Irish coaches, who he feels are too few and far between in modern football.

"Of course, that's my next step,'' Keane told the Associated Press. "I'm going to get my coaching badges. I'd like to be a coach first and kind of learn the ropes and then definitely want to be a manager.

"At the moment, there are no Irish managers. Pat Fenlon has done very well at Hibernian. He just came from the Irish League. He's doing very, very well. Apart from that, there's Mick McCarthy obviously. He's always going to be in the running to get the next job because I think he's well respected by everybody.

"There's not many former players that are managers, coaches at the moment. We need to do something about that.''

Keane is set to become Ireland's most capped player this year, with his current total of 122 appearances just three short of Shay Given's record, and he is hoping that he may become the first Irishman in a generation to play in three major tournaments by helping Giovanni Trapattoni's side to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

"The next two games [against Austra and Sweden] are very important,'' Keane said. "Germany are going to win the group, I think it's obvious to see that. So it's up to us to try and finish second, which we've always done, always went into the play-off.''