Shay Given: "Sometimes Irish fans, for whatever reason, didn't appreciate how good Robbie Keane was"

Ireland goalkeeper and Kevin Kilbane discuss their former team-mate

BY Raf Diallo 19:45 Wednesday 24 August 2016, 19:45 24 Aug 2016

Ireland's Robbie Keane and Shay Given at the end of the game ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

Earlier today, one of the all-time great Ireland careers was given an end date as Robbie Keane announced that August 31st will mark his final cap.

Former Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given, who called time on his own international career shortly after Euro 2016, was speaking to Off The Ball and Kevin Kilbane as the legendary Boys in Green duo looked back on memories of playing their former team-mate.

Given who made his own Ireland debut two years before Keane, recalled a player who took to international football quickly.

"He was a winner, he just wanted to play football even with the senior lads in the Irish setup, he wasn't fazed at all. He wanted to show to them how good a player he was. He didn't mind taking a few of them on," said the Donegal man. 

He and Kilbane also reminisced about moments like playing two-touch football in the corridors with Keane, as well as how well-regarded the 36-year-old has been beyond these shores.

"He was the face of our team, he was our captain and you go to different parts and they'd be all wanting to have pictures with Robbie Keane. Sometimes that gets lost a little bit in Ireland because different quarters and different sections would be giving him stick and stuff. But even in France, Robbie didn't play as much as he wanted but every fan still wanted a piece of him because he was the face of our team. He was the most famous player that we had over the years at that time.

"He's a player that fans around the world look up to and sometimes Irish fans, for whatever reason, didn't appreciate how good he was. And we'll probably look back in 10 or 20 years and his record will be untouchable." 

Given and Kilbane also spoke about the fun side many people didn't get to see.

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