Fifteen years ago today Robbie Keane reinforced his position on the world stage by scoring a crucial goal in injury time against Germany at the 2002 World Cup.
It was the goal that cemented his legacy, and in his own words “the moment that changed my life”.
In an exclusive interview with Three, as part of the team sponsor’s #TheCallUp campaign, Robbie recalls that famous moment he put the ball past Oliver Kahn at the Kashima Soccer Stadium in Japan.
It was a goal that shook the country and ensured a lasting legacy as one of the biggest “Where were you when…” moments in Irish sport.
Showcasing the winning mentality that made him the Irish footballing hero he is today, Robbie remembers how Germany went ahead early on in the game, but as the clock wore on he thought “We’ve got a chance here!”.
Describing the build up to the goal, Keane applauds the Irish team mate who set up the goal, Niall Quinn. “We knew Quinny would be an impact player. When he came, on I knew there was going to be an opportunity for me to get onto one of his flick-ons.”
The rest is history and the former Ireland captain’s final memory was his infamous cartwheel celebration and being joined by players and staff unable to control their elation at what they had just witnessed “…and then as I did the cartwheel, I remember just getting pushed into the advertising boards.
“You got all the substitutes coming down and staff coming down hopping on top of me.”