Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Doyle hails legend Robbie Keane

Kevin Doyle has hailed Ireland strike partner Robbie Keane as one of the greats of Irish football.

Doyle is hoping to be fit to partner Keane in the first ever international match at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday when the opposition is provided by star-studded Argentina. The Irish captain will earn his 100th cap in the game and Doyle says that playing alongside him has only been a pleasure.

"He's just been a joy to play with to be honest," the Wolves man was quoted as saying by the Irish Independent.

"He's on 100 caps, it's unbelievable. Someone was asking is he now going to be up there with the top players, the (Liam) Bradys, the (Paul) McGraths. I think there is no doubt that he is.

"He's the record goal-scorer by more than double what anyone else has got. He's played in World Cups, he's scored in World Cups, there is not much more to achieve at international level.

“He's only 30, so he has plenty of time to get plenty more caps. He's the captain. For strikers especially, it's great to see how he trains, he prepares. He's someone you can follow, try and follow. In training, not just in matches, he works so hard. It means as much to him to win a five-a-side as a match.

"Little things like that you can take from players who have played at the highest level, get records like he has. It makes you realise you can't just breeze through it as a young player. You realise what the better players do and try and copy that, to be at that level yourself.”

Keane, though, has his share of critics, with some feeling he does not take enough chances but Doyle says fault can hardly be found in 43 goals in 99 games, and adds that the former Liverpool man would have had even more had he been playing for one of the world’s biggest nations.

Doyle added: "If you're playing for a Holland or a Spain, it's like playing for a Chelsea or a Manchester United; you're going to get more chances.

"In the top countries in Europe, I would imagine he has as good a strike rate as anyone."

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