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Robbie Keane Betway blog: Football favourites 28 06 23

20 Jun | BY Robbie Keane | MIN READ TIME |
Robbie Keane Betway blog: Football favourites 28 06 23

Betway ambassador and Irish football legend Robbie Keane reminisces on his playing days, revealing his best strike partner, manager and dressing room story among others.

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Favourite stadium 

My favourite stadium to play in, I would have to say, is the Johan Cruyff Arena. I’ve played there with Ireland against the Netherlands a few times.  

It was just the best atmosphere I’ve ever experienced as a professional footballer. The roof was closed and you could just hear the noise of the thousands of Irish fans making a racket. 

Best strike partner 

My best strike partner would have to be Dimitar Berbatov. We had such a good relationship with each other and great on-pitch chemistry. It was incredible, we just clicked straight away. 

Both of us were always looking out for each other. When he wasn’t playing, I always noticed how much I missed him, and I think it was the same for him. 

Toughest defender 

I’d have to say Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand. At the time I played against them, Manchester United were probably the best team and those two were a very, very difficult partnership to play against. 

Vidic was strong and he would have put his head through anything. Rio was the one who was the footballer, he was clever and could play with his feet. 

Favourite manager 

I was lucky enough to play under a few great managers in my career. 

While playing for Ireland, the standouts were Giovanni Trappatoni and Mick McCarthy. Mick was always very honest with players and said it like it was.  

I really enjoyed playing under Martin Jol during my time with Spurs. I thought he really helped the team and helped me become a better player. 

It’s very difficult to narrow it down to just one, so I’d have to say those three were the best to play under. 

Favourite captain 

I’ve played under a few, but in the short time that I had him it has to be Roy Keane. 

His leadership qualities on the pitch and his demands on the players to do better was brilliant. 

Favourite Premier League goal 

My favourite goal would have to be the one I scored against Blackburn at White Hart Lane in March 2006. 

I chipped it over Robbie Savage on the edge of the box out wide after getting the ball from a throw, and did a little bit of skill to take it past the defender before scoring. 

They’re my kind of goals, the cheeky ones. 

Favourite international goal 

This one is easy. My favourite goal for Ireland was against Germany in the 2002 World Cup. 

That’s an absolute no-brainer.  

Favourite moment representing Ireland 

This is similar to the last one. It’s playing in the World Cup. 

Playing in the World Cup is any kid’s dream and it was mine, too. To get the opportunity to do that and to score in it was something special. 

Favourite club moment 

It would have to be when we beat Chelsea to win the Carling Cup in 2008. It’s the only thing we won at Spurs and they haven’t won a trophy since. 

It just goes to show how hard it is to win a trophy in England. 

Funniest player 

This has to be Gary Kelly, who I played with during my time at Leeds. He was just an absolute character and all the players loved him. 

He would always put you in a good mood and do all kinds of silly things that I definitely couldn’t repeat now! 

Peter Crouch was up there as well, to be fair. 

Favourite training ground story 

After we’d played the last game of the season one year at Tottenham, we all got called into a meeting the following day so we could discuss our plans for the following season. 

As we were all waiting in the meeting room, Teemu Tainio turned up in a full spiderman outfit and sat at the back of the room.  

Martin Jol walked in and just started laughing, and all of the players were in stitches too. 

Robbie Keane

Robbie Keane

Republic of Ireland's all-time record goalscorer who also scored 355 goals in 737 club appearances.

Robbie Keane

Robbie Keane

Republic of Ireland's all-time record goalscorer who also scored 355 goals in 737 club appearances.