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Ireland’s Robbie Keane heaps praise on Man Utd’s Ryan Giggs

Republic of Ireland captain Robbie Keane heaps praise on Manchester United veteran Ryan Giggs

Kieran Beckles
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Robbie Keane has 125 caps for the Republic of IrelandPhoto: Kelvin Gillmor

Robbie Keane has hailed Manchester United veteran Ryan Giggs as the striker prepares to make his record 126th Republic of Ireland appearance against the Faroe Islands on Friday.

The Ireland captain, 32, scored twice in a 4-0 victory over Georgia in a friendly at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday, moving level with former Newcastle United goalkeeper Shay Given on 125 caps

Keane, who currently players for LA Galaxy, was reported to be considering international retirement following his country’s disastrous Euro 2012 last summer, with Giovanni Trapattoni’s side losing each of their group games.

But the former Tottenham Hotspur striker is eager to continue playing ahead of next year’s World Cup and is drawing inspiration from United’s 39-year-old Giggs.

“He’s been a credit to the game. To carry on the way that he has and to keep himself fit and to continue at a high level – full credit to him,” Keane told TodayFM.

He added: “I think people forget I’m only 32. I’ve got no plans to retire.

“If that [imminent retirement] was the case, we should be worried about Wes Hoolahan and John O’Shea… they’re the same age. People think I’m a lot older because I’ve got so many caps.”

Keane, who made his Ireland debut in 1998, is already setting his sights on adding to his 126 caps after Ireland’s World Cup qualifier on Friday night, while warning Trapattoni’s men not to underestimate their opponents.

“In years to come, I’ll look back on it [126 caps] and feel very, very proud,” he added.

“When you’re still involved in the national side and still playing, the most important thing is concentrating on that moment.

“I’ve been very, very lucky to play for my country for the last 14 years. It’s been fantastic and long may it continue.”

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