He’s used to bagging goals from whipped-in crosses and threaded through balls, but Robbie Keane may be the beneficiary of a different kind of assist if he scores a new world record.
While the Dublin native has teamed up with players from around the world, his potential entry in the Guinness World Records will be partly due to the work of a computer programmer from Limerick.
Joseph McCarthy believes that by scoring a goal at international level in 19 consecutive years, Keane has achieved a feat unparalleled in the history of football.
An avid follower of the Boys in Green, Joseph runs the ‘Irish Abroad’ website, a statistics site which collects data on Irish players.
Joseph was on a football forum discussing Keane’s goal in his final game for the Republic of Ireland last year when he mentioned that he had heard it was the striker’s 18th consecutive year of scoring for Ireland.
A discussion ensued during which he and another two commenters deduced that it was actually the 19th straight year that Keane had found the net for Ireland — a potential world record.
“This stuck with me and I wondered if it was and how it could be proven,” said Joseph. “I’ve done some work with large data sets, both as part of my job and in personal projects, but in order to prove this, you would need the record of all international players, restricted to players who had a career of more than 19 years, and who also scored more than 19 goals.”
After much analysis, eliminating the likes of Pele, Ali Daei, and Gerd Muller, he said:
“The only player I could find that came close was Hungarian international Imre Schlosser-Lakatos who scored in 16 consecutive years between 1906-1921.”
Guinness World Records confirmed they could be using Joseph’s research to award Keane the prize.
“We have received an application for the record in question, our review process can take up to 12 weeks, and we look forward to receiving the evidence from the claimant, said a spokesperson for Guinness World Records.
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