McGrath hoping Keane will go on

Should Robbie Keane decide to retire after Euro 2012, he can go with our full blessing.

But Paul McGrath hopes the Republic of Ireland skipper isn’t finished in a green jersey just yet.

While Keane, who has scored 53 goals in 115 appearances for Ireland, has not hinted at retiring just yet, he will be 32 in July and is now playing in the MSL with LA Galaxy.

“I don’t think Robbie owes the country anything now,” said McGrath who retired in 1997 at the age of 38 after winning a then record 83 caps.

“I think he has done everything with the goals he has got for us. He always shows up and the enthusiasm he shows has been magnificent. He’s just been a great ambassador for Ireland. I hope he doesn’t retire. I hope he keeps playing.

“I think there is a stage when you know yourself. You don’t really contribute as much as you were used to when you were five years, 10 years younger. It does get harder.

“Back in my day you wanted to play for as long as you could because you wanted to play football for as long as you could.

“In Robbie’s case, like I said, I think he’s done everything he was asked to do and he’s done it brilliantly.

“It would be sad to see him go because he is obviously one of the best strikers we’ve ever had. Probably the best we’ve ever had.

“It will be a sad day for Ireland when he does go. But obviously there are kids waiting in the wings hoping he goes!”

Richard Dunne, Shay Given and Damien Duff are in the same positions as their careers wind down.

“Yes,” agreed McGrath. “But we’re hoping that the players who are coming after them are going to be half decent.”


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