Ireland captain Robbie Keane has credited the GAA for giving him the toughness to succeed in football.
The Tallaght man has played for 10 soccer clubs attracting transfer fees of almost £90m (€111m) and at 32 scored his sixth play-off goal this weekend as LA Galaxy lifted the MLS Cup.
Keane wants to play in the US for a “number of years” and says he has not even thought yet about a loan move to the Premier League in January.
“I am very happy and very content here,” said Keane from America.
Keane revealed he had to make a choice between GAA and soccer as a teenager.
“I think maybe the mental toughness of Gaelic football helped, you have to be quite hard obviously,” he explained. “You get more knocks in Gaelic football than you do in football.
“I only played until I was 15 and my father told me I had to make a decision on ether one.
“I was training on Monday, Gaelic Tuesday, football Wednesday, football Thursday, Saturday was the football game and Gaelic game Sunday.
“I had to make a decision to pick one of them. It was always going to be football but maybe the mental toughness of Gaelic has helped me.”
His goal on Saturday night helped Galaxy to their second MLS Cup title in a row with a 3-1 win over Houston Dynamo at the Home Depot Center. Calen Carr’s goal shortly before the interval gave the Texas team the lead. However, Omar Gonzalez equalised on the hour and five minutes later captain Landon Donovan converted from the penalty spot, before Keane wrapped up the win in injury time, also from the spot.
It was the end of an era as David Beckham bowed out of US soccer after almost six years. “It’s been a successful six years here,” Beckham said.
“I’ll continue to play, go get some rest over Christmas and decide where to go.”
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