Roy Maurice Keane is an Irish former professional football player. He is the joint-most successful Irish footballer of all time, having won 19 major trophies, 17 of which came at Manchester United, in his club career. He is currently the assistant manager of the Republic of Ireland national football team. In his 18-year-long playing career, Keane played for Cobh Ramblers, Nottingham Forest, and Manchester United, before ending his career at Celtic. Keane was a dominating defensive midfielder, noted for his aggressive and highly competitive style of play, an attitude that helped him excel as captain of Manchester United from 1997 until his departure in 2005. Joining the club in 1993, Keane helped United achieve a sustained period of success during his twelve year tenure at the club. He then signed for Celtic, but retired as a player less than a year later. Keane played at international level for much of his career, representing the Republic of Ireland over a period of 14 years, most of which he spent as captain. He played in every Republic of Ireland game at the 1994 FIFA World Cup, although he was sent home from the 2002 World Cup after a dispute with national coach Mick McCarthy regarding training facilities for the team. Regarded as one of the best defensive midfielders of his generation, in 2004 Keane was named by Pelé in the FIFA 100 list of the world’s greatest living players. In 2007, The Times placed him at number 11 in their list of the 50 “hardest” footballers in history. Keane was appointed manager of Sunderland shortly after his retirement as a player and took the club from 23rd position in the Football League Championship, in late August, to win the division title and gain promotion to the Premier League. Keane’s arrival was cited as the key catalyst in Sunderland’s recovery. He managed to keep Sunderland from relegation in the 2007–08 season but in his second season as a top-flight manager he left his position with Sunderland in the relegation zone. In April 2009, he was appointed as manager of Ipswich Town but was dismissed after 20 months in January 2011 due to the club’s position of 19th in the Championship. In November 2013, he was appointed assistant manager of the Republic of Ireland national team by manager Martin O’Neill. Keane also served as a studio analyst alongside Ian Wright, Lee Dixon and Gordon Strachan, fellow contemporary footballers of his time, for ITV’s football coverage up until 2014, but has returned to ITV’s coverage on occasion since.
Did you Know?
Keane was part of the squad that participated in the 1988 UEFA European Under-16 Football Championship although he did not play. He was man of the match for the Republic of Ireland national under-19 team when they beat hosts Hungary in the 1990 UEFA European Under-18 Football Championship to qualify for the 1991 FIFA World Youth Championship. When called up for his first game at international level, an under-21s match against Turkey in 1991, Keane took an immediate dislike to the organisation and preparation surrounding the Irish team, later describing the set-up as “a bit of a joke”. He would continue to hold this view throughout the remainder of his time spent with the national team, which led to numerous confrontations with the Irish management. Keane declared his unavailability to travel with the Irish squad to Algeria, but was surprised when manager Jack Charlton told him that he would never play for Ireland again if he refused to join up with his compatriots. Despite this threat, Keane chose to stay at home on the insistence of Nottingham Forest manager Brian Clough, and was pleased when a year later he was called up to the Irish squad for a friendly at Lansdowne Road. After more appearances, he grew to disapprove of Charlton’s style of football, which relied less on the players’ skill and more on continuous pressing and direct play. Tensions between the two men peaked during a pre-season tournament in the United States, when Charlton berated Keane for returning home late after a drinking session with Steve Staunton. Keane was included in the Republic of Ireland senior squad for the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the U.S. and played in every game, including a famous 1–0 victory over tournament favourites and eventual runners-up Italy. Despite a second-round exit at the hands of the Netherlands, the tournament was considered a success for the Irish team, and Keane was named the best player of Ireland’s campaign. Keane, however, was reluctant to join the post-tournament celebrations, later claiming that, as far as he was concerned, Ireland’s World Cup was a disappointment: “There was nothing to celebrate. We achieved little.” Keane missed crucial matches during the 1998 World Cup qualification matches due to a severe knee injury, but came back to captain the team to within a whisker of qualifying for UEFA Euro 2000, losing to Turkey in a play-off. Ireland secured qualification for the 2002 World Cup under new manager Mick McCarthy, greatly assisted by a number of match-winning performances from Keane. In the process of qualification, Ireland went undefeated, both home and away, against international football heavyweights Portugal and the Netherlands, famously beating the latter 1–0 at Lansdowne Road.
IRELAND NATIONAL TEAM
Match Issued Shirt
Things to Know:
This style of shirt with the name on the back was never used by the team. The team used shirts with only the number on the back but shirts with name on were issued for the players as well.