Robbie Keane was inducted into the 2017 FAI Hall of Fame at the ‘Three’ FAI International Football Awards last night in Donnybrook.
The 36 year old retired from international duty after Euro 2016 as Ireland’s all-time top goalscorer, and is regarded as one of the best players to ever pull on the Irish jersey.
Soccer stars Steven Gerrard, Pele, Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Carrick paid tribute to Keane in a moving pre-recorded video on the night.
“During my career I’ve played with some world class centre forwards, and you’re certainly up there mate,” said Gerrard, who played with Keane at Liverpool and LA Galaxy.
“He was the loudest person in the dressing room by a mile, the life and soul of the dressing room,” Carrick added, referencing his time at Spurs with Keane.
Keane also forged a formidable partnership with Dimitar Berbatov at White Hart Lane, and the Bulgarian striker paid a touching tribute to the Dubliner.
“So Robbie Keane and Hall of Fame. The best possible partnership.
“But is there any other partnership that can be compared to this one? What do you think, Keano? Are you thinking what I’m thinking? I know you do mate, I know you do.
“Remember, you and me on the pitch. Making fun of the defenders, scoring for fun. You, running for both of us, talking for both of us. I remember.
“Me playing with you actually made me a better player. You’re always there for the team, always helping the players — on the pitch, outside the pitch. In training, you are the full professional. In the games, you’re always fighting until the last minute, always trying to score.
“You became the leading goalscorer of your country, what an achievement that is. So you fully deserve to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Congratulations to you, I wish you all the luck in the world in everything you do in life. It was an honour playing with you, man.”
You can watch the video for yourself below…
— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) March 19, 2017