Robbie Keane: 'Kids don't play...

Soccer

Robbie Keane: 'Kids don't play football in the street anymore'

Ben Finnegan
Ben Finnegan

09:41 29 Jul 2019


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Former Republic of Ireland captain and current assistant manager at Championship club Middlesborough Robbie Keane says he wants his son "out on the road with his friends".

The 39-year-old said, speaking to the Daily Mail that children "don't play in the street anymore, And that's all of them, with their PlayStations. I would certainly encourage young kids to get out, between 10 and 14 especially.

"They should be getting 500 touches a week on the ball. They don't need parents or friends to do that. Get out and play with the football, kick it against the wall, keeping it up, trying tricks.

"I won't have my boy on the PlayStation for hours and hours, no chance. I want him out on the road with his friends, even without playing football, just go out and have fun.

"You need to be around your friends at that age, getting to know different characters, building your own personality.

"But if you want to be a footballer it just doesn't come, you have to practice. You have to be that kid on the road kicking it against the wall 300 times. They are the kids who will make it, not the ones sitting on the PlayStation."

Keane scored almost 400 goals for clubs and country throughout his playing career across two decades, which included spells at Internazionale, Spurs, Celtic and LA Galaxy.

He says he always takes note of emergency exits when he is in a restaurant and is constantly aware of his surroundings, which he believes is something that he has taken from his playing days, "I've always been like that. It's about having a picture - when you receive the ball, who is behind you, beside you, in front of you. You need awareness on a football pitch, I'll be working on that a lot with the players."

He will work alongside new Middlesborough manager Jonathan Woodgate at the Riverside Stadium, who he had played with during his time at Leeds United and Tottenham Hotspur.

Keane also faced a question on the infamous goings-on during the Republic of Ireland training camp in Saipan in the run-up to the 2002 World Cup, which was taking place in South Korea and Japan. The former striker brushed off the question saying, "Don't even think about trying to get me sucked into talking about that, because I'm not.

"As I said before, every incident that I have seen over the past 25 years, I'll take something from it and use it to my benefit"

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