Robbie Keane would like to manage Ireland one day
HARRISON, New Jersey (AP)
Robbie Keane would like to manage Ireland in the future.
The 32-year-old forward, Ireland's captain and career scoring leader with 54 goals, has won two Major League Soccer titles with the Los Angeles Galaxy and last month agreed to a contract through 2014. When he's done playing, he'd like to move into management.
''Of course, that's my next step,'' he said Monday during an interview with The Associated Press at Red Bull Arena. ''I'm going to get my coaching badges. I'd like to be a coach first and kind of learn the ropes and then definitely want to be a manager.''
Keane's international goals are more than double the 21 of Niall Quinn, who is second for Ireland. Keane's 122 international appearances are three shy of the Irish record, held by goalkeeper Shay Given.
Ireland has been coached since 2008 by Giovanni Trapattoni. The Italian is only the second non-Irishman to lead the national team, following England's Jack Charlton from 1986-95.
''At the moment, there are no Irish managers,'' Keane said. ''Pat Fenlon has done very well at Hibernian. He just came from the Irish League. He's doing very, very well. Apart from that, there's Mick McCarthy obviously. He's always going to be in the running to get the next job because I think he's well respected by everybody. There's not many former players that are managers, coaches at the moment. We need to do something about that.''
Keane praised Trapattoni, whose team lost to Croatia, Spain and Italy at last year's European Championship
''He's doing a fantastic job. As long as he's there and wants to stay there, we're quite happy with that,'' he said.
Ireland has opened qualifying for next year's World Cup with wins at Kazakhstan and the Faeroe Islands and a 6-1 home loss against Germany. Next month, the Irish are away to Sweden and host Austria.
''The next two games are very important,'' Keane said. ''Germany is going to win the group, I think it's obvious to see that. So it's up to us to try and finish second, which we've always done, always went into the playoff.''