Robbie Keane eager to break Shay Given's Republic of Ireland appearance record
Robbie Keane has set his sights on breaking Shay Given’s all-time appearance record for the Republic of Ireland after equalling his 125-cap mark.
Keane stepped off the bench to equal the goalkeeper’s tally and scored two late goals as Ireland cruised to a 4-0 friendly victory over Georgia at the Aviva Stadium.
Richard Keogh and Simon Cox were also on target as the visitors had goalkeeper Giorgi Loria dismissed in the 20th minute.
“If you had asked me 10 years ago if I would get this many caps I would say you’re crazy, so I’m obviously delighted.” Robbie Keane
Keane told Sky Sports: “If you had asked me 10 years ago if I would get this many caps I would say you’re crazy, so I’m obviously delighted.
“I’ll look back in years to come, but for now I’m looking forward and hopefully I’ll get a few more.
“It is always nice to score goals, for a striker it is very important for your confidence.”
Giovanni Trapattoni’s side now take on Faroe Islands in a World Cup qualifier on Friday and Keane believes Sunday’s victory will set Ireland up for that clash, when he is set to break Given’s mark.
He added: “I felt a little bit sorry for them (Georgia) because the red card killed the tempo of the game, but one thing it does do is give us confidence.
“Next week people will expect us to win the game and on paper we should. But you can’t take any team lightly, you have to give any team a lot of respect and certainly we will do that.
“So far it has been a good week for the players. Next week is the main game and hopefully we can get the three points.”
Shane Long, who will miss the Faroes clash through suspension, captained the side against Georgia and retained the armband even when Keane joined the fray.
Long added: “It was an unbelievable honour. I offered Robbie the band again, but he said ‘no, you keep it’. I was delighted, but it would have been nice to grab a goal.”