Celebrate Robbie Keane's 36th birthday with 36 of his best international goals

Robbie Keane has had an amazing career for Ireland

BY Adrian Collins 19:20 Friday 8 July 2016, 19:20 8 Jul 2016

Image: ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

The legend that is Robbie Keane may soon be calling time, officially, on his international career, but there's no doubt that as the country's leading scorer, he has popped up again and again to score vital goals for Ireland. 

As the former Inter Milan and Tottenham Hotspur striker turns 36 today, we've decided to comb through his frankly outrageous haul of international goals to pick the best 36 and mark the day for one of the greatest players to ever don the green jersey. 

36) 2011 vs. Scotland, Aviva Stadium, Nations Cup

With the 49th goal of his Ireland career, Keane scored a great solo effort that helped his side to claim the Nations Cup.

35, 34, 33) 2014 vs. Gibraltar, Aviva Stadium, Euro 2016 Qualifiers

The opposition weren't up to much, but Keane made no mistake about finding the back of the net three times to register his third (!) international hat-trick. 

Image: ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

32) 1999 vs. Yugoslavia, Landsdowne Road, Euro 2000 Qualifiers

Ireland briefly topped a group that contained Yugoslavia and Croatia thanks to a pair of goals from Mark Kennedy and of course, Keano, who hit a first time shot into the bottom corner to give the Boys in Green the lead.

Image: ©INPHO/Trevor Looney

31) 2013 vs. Sweden, Aviva Stadium, World Cup 2014 Qualifiers

Against a strong Sweden side, it looked as though Robbie Keane had once again proved vital as Ireland hoped to qualify for a major tournament, until the visitors popped up with two of their own to leave the home crowd deflated.

30 & 29) 2009 vs. Georgia, Croke Park, World Cup 2010 Qualifiers

Once again, Robbie Keane's goals proved the difference in a game that could have cost Ireland dearly, as he scored a brace to help his side come from behind in front of a Croke Park crowd and win 2-1.

28) 2004 vs. Czech Republic, Landsdowne Road, Friendly

Robbie brought a halt to an impressive 20-game winning record for the Czechs ahead of their Euro 2004 campaign, and just over five years into his international career, was already closing in on Niall Quinn's scoring record. 

Image: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

27) 2009 vs. Cyprus, GSP Stadium, World Cup 2010 Qualifiers

Another tough duel with Cyprus was settled by another vital Robbie Keane goal, as Ireland secured a 2-1 win just seven minutes from time, and notched his 40th goal in a green jersey.

26) 2008 vs. Colombia, Craven Cottage, Friendly

It wasn't the prettiest of goals, but it was another in a trend for Keane, as he scored the goal that gave a new manager their first win in charge of the Boys in Green. This time, it was Giovanni Trapattoni. 

25, 24) 2011 vs. Estonia, A. LE Coq Stadium, 

Ireland finally secured their place at the Euros for the first time in over two decades in a playoff against Estonia, and it should come as no surprise that Keane was on the scoresheet twice.

23) 2004 vs. Croatia, Landsdowne Road, Friendly

Top class opposition came to Landsdowne Road with an impressive record, but were beaten 1-0 courtesy of a Robbie Keane goal, as he put some space between himself and Niall Quinn in the top scorers chart. 

22) 2006 vs. Sweden, Landsdowne Road, Friendly 

It was another new manager, and another goal from Robbie Keane that helped give Steve Staunton his first win. The captain was on target with a smart finish, while Damien Duff also scored, along with Liam Miller. 

21) 2012 vs. Kazakhstan, Astana Arena, 2014 World Cup Qualifiers

A banana skin that looked to have fulfilled its potential, Ireland were in deep trouble as they were trailing late in the game. Goals from Keane and Kevin Doyle saved them, but it was the beginning of the end for Trap.

20 & 19) 2011 vs. Macedonia, Philip II Arena, Euro 2012 Qualifiers

It was Keane who found the back of the net twice to give Ireland another important win on the way to Euro 2012, but he also notched up his 50th and 51st goals for the national side. Stunning.  

18 & 17) 2015 vs. Gibraltar, Estadio Algarve, Euro 2016 Qualifiers

After Euro 2016, we may never see Robbie in a green shirt again, but goals numbers 66 and 67 for the national side are worth remembering, if only for the fact that it should highlight just how impressive those figures are.

16 & 15) 2004 vs. Faroe Islands, Landsdowne Road, World Cup 2006 Qualifiers 

The goals that saw Robbie Keane officially become the top scorer in Ireland's history were scored in front of a home crowd, as he tucked home the decisive record breaker from the penalty spot.

14, 13 & 12) 2006 vs. San Marino, Landsdowne Road, Euro 2008 Qualifier

An international hat-trick, no matter the opposition, is a truly amazing feat, and Keane secure his first one for Ireland in a rout against San Marino as Ireland tried to make it to the Euros in 2008.

11) 2004 vs. Netherlands, Amsterdam Arena, Friendly

It might only have been a friendly, but this was a great goal by any measure from Keane, who liked a strike against Netherlands in his time.

10) 1998 vs. Malta, Landsdowne Road, Euro 2000 Qualifier

The first of many...or absolutely bloody loads as it turned out, this was a historic moment as Keane scored his first in a green shirt.

Image: Robbie Keane celebrates his first goal © INPHO/Patrick Bolger

9) 2008 vs. Cyprus, Croke Park, World Cup 2010 Qualifier

Ireland's record against Cyprus contains that one famous blip, but also contains a number of other closer games that include a tight 1-0 win as they looked to make their way to the World Cup in South Africa. The goal was important not only because it gave Ireland the win, but it was also Keane's first at Croke Park. 

Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie

8) 2001 vs. Iran, Landsdowne Road, Dublin, World Cup 2002 Qualifier

A vital second goal in the playoff against Iran helped to make sure that Ireland were headed to their first major tournament since 1994. 

7) 1999 vs. Turkey, Landsdowne Road, Euro 2000 Qualifiers

Still wet behind the ears when it came to international football, Robbie Keane provided the goal that could so easily have sent his side to Euro 2000, if it weren't for a second-half penalty. Turkey won the tie on away goals. 

6) 2002 vs. Saudi Arabia, Yokohama International Stadium, World Cup 2002 

It turned out to be an easy win for Ireland in the end, but there's not a very long list of Irish goals at international tournaments, let alone that feature a finish of this quality (even though the keeper could have done a bit better) so this goal makes it into the top 10. 

5) 2000 vs. Netherlands, Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam, World Cup 2002 Qualifier

Another vital goal from Keane to put Ireland ahead as they looked to progress to the World Cup against top class opposition. 

4) 2009 vs. Italy, Stadio San Nicola, World Cup 2010 Qualifier

Another late, late goal against Italy meant that Trap's Ireland kept the country's World Cup dream alive that little bit longer.

3) 2002 vs. Spain, Suwon World Cup Stadium, World Cup 2002

The phrase "Balls of Steel" is thrown around a lot, but to step up and take a penalty as the clock ticked over 90 minutes against Spain at the World Cup to level matters, and then to finish it with such quality, takes a serious pair. 

2) 2009 vs. France, Stade de France, World Cup 2010 Qualifiers

Before the true horror of what was to come (#NeverForget), Robbie Keane produced a brilliant finish to give Ireland the lead against France on that night in Paris.

1) 2002 vs. Germany, Kashima Soccer Stadium, World Cup 2002

There's probably no debate about this, an incredible long ball over the top from the back caused scenes of jubilation, and probably a good few tears, after Keano's late goal shocked Germany...and Mick McCarthy. "Look at these scenes, just look at these scenes!"

Happy birthday, Robbie.


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