Wednesday 24 August 2016, 22:45

Robbie Keane announces international retirement

Republic of Ireland's all-time goalscorer and record caps holder Robbie Keane announced his retirement from international football after an 18-year career with The Boys in Green.

Keane will end his national team career with Ireland following their international friendly against Oman on 31 August in Dublin, five days before the country's FIFA World Cup™ qualifier against Serbia.

"Today, I am announcing my decision to retire from international football following the upcoming game with Oman on 31 August in the Aviva Stadium," Keane said in a statement on his Facebook page. "It has been a wonderful journey for me to have played with the Irish national team for over 18 years since I made my senior international debut back in 1998. I have enjoyed it all."

"It has also been a great honour, for both me and my family, to have been given the opportunity to captain my country for over ten years."

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill praised the captain's contributions in a statement on the official website of the Football Association of Ireland: "Robbie's appearances and goals for Ireland speak for themselves. He is undoubtedly one of Ireland's finest ever players and I do not see his international goal record being beaten for a very long time, if ever. It will take us some time to get over his absence."

During his playing career in FIFA tournaments, most notably, Keane scored three goals at the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan, leading the Republic of Ireland to the Round of 16 where they fell to Spain on penalties.

Keane also showed his consistency on the international stage playing in World Cup qualifiers, scoring 17 goals in 38 matches for his country.

18 years. 67 goals. 145 appearances. Ireland's record goalscorer.

Robbie Keane, an Irish legend! #COYBIG

— FAIreland (@FAIreland) August 24, 2016