‘It has been a wonderful journey for me to have played with the Irish team for over 18 years’
Ireland's most prolific goal-scorer Robbie Keane announced his retirement on Wednesday after an 18-year career in which he scored 67 goals for his country to put him 15th on the list of all-time international marksmen.
The 36-year-old Los Angeles Galaxy striker said in a statement he would retire from international football following Ireland's friendly against Oman on August 31.
"It has been a wonderful journey for me to have played with the Irish team for over 18 years since I made my senior international debut back in 1998," Keane said.
"As a young boy growing up in Dublin playing football on the street I could never have imaged the path my life would take. It has exceeded my wildest expectations.
Keane made his international debut in the Czech Republic in 1998 at the age of 18. It took him just over six years to overtake Niall Quinn as his country's record goalscorer.
Keane, who has played for Wolverhampton Wanderers, Coventry City, Inter Milan, Leeds United, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, Celtic, West Ham United and Aston Villa, memorably scored a last-minute equaliser against Germany in the 2002 World Cup finals.
With 67 goals from 145 games, Keane is also his country's most capped player.
"He is undoubtedly one of Ireland's finest every players and I do not see his international goal record being beaten for a very long time, if ever," Ireland manager Martin O'Neill said.
"It will take us some time to get over his absence."