Born in Dublin on July 8 1980, Keane made his mark in schoolboy football with Crumlin United before moving to Wolverhampton as a 16-year-old. His talent was evident from the very start and current Republic of Ireland manager Brian Kerr, then Ireland youths’ boss, admitted that he nearly took Keane to the 1997 World Youth Championships when he was just 17.
However, it wasn’t long before Keane was making waves on the international stage as a bright start to the Wolves career saw him earn a place in the Republic of Ireland side in 1998 making his debut as a substitute against the Czech Republic.
From then on, he never looked back. His first start came on his second appearance against Argentina at Lansdowne Road. It may have been the boy wonders first start but he showed no signs of being overawed even visiting the referee’s dressing room to complain about some tough Argentinean defending.
That summer, he helped Kerr’s Under 18 side win the European Championships — still the only medal of his career — while his first goal for Ireland came shortly afterwards when he scored against Malta.
He quickly followed that strike up with another against Malta finishing the Euro 2000 qualifiers with five goals while his potential saw him move quickly from Wolves to Coventry City for Stg5 million before moving on to Italian giants Inter Milan for Stg13 in the summer of 2000.
Keane scored Ireland’s first goal of the 2002 World Cup qualifiers against Holland to set Ireland on their way to the World Cup though his form in the qualifiers suffered as his club career nose dived.
The move to Milan didn’t work out as planned and he was soon on his way back to England with Leeds United who he joined in a Stg12 million deal and the longest goal scoring drought of his international career (9 games) ended when he scored what turned out to be the goal that booked Ireland’s place in the World Cup finals with a volley against Iran.
There was no looking back for Keane from then on as he scored three goals in the World Cup finals earning him a move to Tottenham Hotspur by which time he broke the record for scoring in the most consecutive international games with his goal against Finland his fourth game in a row on the scoresheet.
He was one of Ireland's stars in the Euro 2004 qualifiers scoring twice to continue his impressive scoring record, now standing at seven goals in 13 games under Kerr.
Robbie Keane (Tottenham Hotspur)
Born: 08/07/80 Caps: 55 Goals: 21
Games scored in marked in bold
V Czech (a) 25/03/98 1-2 sub for Alan Maybury (half time)
V Argentina (h) 22/04/97 0-2
V Mexico (h) 23/05/98 0-0
V Croatia (h) 05/09/98 2-0 replaced by Lee Carsley (61 mins)
V Malta (h) 14/10/98 5-0 replaced by Mark Kennedy (83 mins) (scored twice)
V Paraguay (h) 10/02/99 2-0
V Sweden (h) 28/04/99 2-0 sub for Niall Quinn (70 mins)
V Northern Ireland (h) 29/05/99 0-1
V Macedonia (h) 09/06/99 1-0 replaced by Tony Cascarino (68 mins)
V Yugoslavia (h) 01/09/99 2-1
V Malta (a) 08/09/99 3-2
V Macedonia (a) 09/10/99 1-1
V Turkey (h) 13/11/99 1-1
V Czech (h) 23/02/00 3-2 replaced by David Connolly (90 mins)
V Greece (h) 26/04/00 0-1
V Scotland (h) 30/05/00 1-2
V Mexico (n) 04/06/00 2-2 replaced by Dominic Foley (half time)
V South Africa (n) 11/06/00 2-1
V Holland (a) 02/09/00 2-2
V Portugal (a) 07/10/00 1-1
V Estonia (h) 11/10/00 2-0 replaced by Dominic Foley (87 mins)
V Finland (h) 15/11/00 3-0
V Cyprus (a) 24/03/01 4-0
V Andorra (a) 28/03/01 3-0
V Portugal (h) 02/06/01 1-1 replaced by Damien Duff (60 mins)
V Croatia (h) 15/08/01 2-2 replaced by Robbie Keane (52 mins)
V Holland (h) 01/09/01 1-0 replaced by Steve Finnan (60 mins)
V Iran (h) 10/11/01 2-0
V Iran (a) 15/11/01 0-1 replaced by Clinton Morrison (78 mins)
V Russia (h) 13/02/02 2-0 replaced by Richard Sadlier (73 mins)
V Denmark (h) 27/03/02 3-0 replaced by David Connolly (77 mins)
V USA (h) 17/04/02 2-1 replaced by Clinton Morrison (82 mins)
V Nigeria (h) 16/05/02 1-2 replaced by Clinton Morrison (60 mins)
V Cameroon (n) 01/06/02 1-1
V Germany (n) 05/06/02 1-1
V Saudi Arabia (n) 11/06/02 3-0
V Spain (n) 16/06/02 1-1
V Finland (a) 21/08/02 3-0 replaced by Jim Goodwin (83 mins)
V Russia (a) 07/09/02 2-4
V Switzerland (h) 16/10/02 1-2
V Albania (a) 02/04/03 0-0 replaced by Gary Doherty (70 mins)
V Norway (h) 30/04/03 1-0 replaced by Glen Crowe (89 mins)
V Albania (h) 07/06/03 2-1
V Georgia (h) 11/06/03 2-0
V Australia (h) 19/09/03 2-1 replaced by David Connolly (44 mins)
V Switzerland (a) 11/10/03 0-2
V Canada (h) 18/11/03 3-0 (scored twice)
V Brazil (h) 18/02/04 0-0
V Czech (h) 31/03/04 2-1
V Romania (h) 27/05/04 1-0
V Nigeria (n) 29/05/04 0-3 replaced by Graham Barrett (83 mins)
V Holland (a) 05/06/04 1-0
V Cyprus (h) 04/09/04 3-0
V Switzerland (a) 08/09/04
V France (a) 09/10/04 0-0
Robbie Keane equalled Niall Quinn’s Irish goal scoring record of 21 goals on Saturday evening with a 55th minute penalty against Cyprus at Lansdowne Road to write yet another remarkable chapter in the Tallaght man’s career.