Related

Article

Keane tells Ireland stars to make history

13 November 2009 18:40

DUBLIN (AFP) - Republic of Ireland captain Robbie Keane has urged his team to seize the chance to become national heroes by beating France in Saturday's World Cup play-off first leg.

Giovanni Trapattoni's side host France at Croke Park before travelling to Paris for the return on Wednesday and Keane believes qualifying for the finals at the expense of such a star-studded team would be remembered forever as Ireland's greatest achievement.

Tottenham forward Keane knows the Irish cannot compete with Raymond Domenech's collection of global icons when it comes to skill and guile.

But he believes Ireland, who last qualified for a major tournament when they reached the 2002 World Cup, can overwhelm stars like Thierry Henry, Nicolas Anelka and William Gallas through sheer bloody-minded determination to play in South Africa next year.

"The importance of the game and what's at the end of it is massive for everyone associated with it," he said.

"There are players who have never been in this situation before, players who play in the Championship who may never have the opportunity they have now.

"Hopefully they will, but possibly never again, you just never know in football.

"It's important we enjoy the occasion, but it's more important that we do ourselves justice.

"Of course, they have players who have played in the Champions League. If you look on paper at the players they have, they have got world-class players all over the pitch and they are fortunate enough to be able to leave players like Patrick Vieira out of the squad.

"We just can't do that, that's the gulf between the two nations. But the one thing we do have is desire and commitment, and a team that's desperate to do well and desperate to get to South Africa."

Keane admits France have match-winners all over the pitch but he is especially aware of the threat posed by Barcelona striker Henry and Chelsea forward Anelka.

"If you look at people like Nicolas Anelka, at the moment in the Premier League, he is flying and doing really well with Chelsea," Keane said.

"And also Thierry Henry - I have been lucky enough to play against him many, many times, and he is obviously a world-class player who is doing fantastically well, so it's very hard to pinpoint just one player.

"They are obviously the favourites, there's no question about that, but I don't think they are coming over here expecting an easy game by any stretch of the imagination."

Sponsored links

Info

Competition
WC Qualification Europe
Date
14 November 2009
Kick-off
21:00
Half-time
0 - 0
Full-time
0 - 1
On aggregate
1 - 2
Venue
Croke Park (Dublin)
Attendance
74103

Goals

0 - 1

Lineups

Substitutes

Thursday 21 August

Wednesday 20 August

23:26
23:26
23:11
22:57
22:50
21:20
21:10
20:36
20:27
20:18
20:14
20:03
19:28
19:17
18:55
18:53
18:49
18:07
17:55
17:37
17:34
17:30
17:23
17:23
16:58
16:43
16:38
16:22
16:14
16:06
16:00
15:00
14:51
14:21
14:17
14:03
13:20
13:10
12:45
12:17
11:59
11:52
11:31
11:15
10:58
10:46
10:33
10:10
09:37
09:03
08:35
08:10
06:43
06:30
06:09
05:23
04:45
03:17
02:51
02:29
01:49
01:04
00:16

Tuesday 19 August

23:43
23:37
23:27
23:24
22:44
22:24
21:55
21:44
21:32
20:54
19:56
19:10
18:55
18:48
18:44
18:17
18:07
17:35
17:35
17:07
16:39
16:39
16:25
16:11
15:56
15:43
15:39
15:08
14:40
14:28
14:13
14:04
14:00
13:42
13:31
13:28
12:49
12:17
11:39
11:28
11:09
10:58
10:30
10:03
09:53
09:43
09:26
08:57
08:56
07:40
07:31
07:28
06:51
05:24
03:50
03:48
03:09
03:04
02:59
02:19
02:17
01:21
01:08
00:04

Facebook