After a disappointing European Championship, the LA Galaxy man says that, while he considered calling it a day, he found it hard to envisage never representing his country again
Captain Robbie Keane admits that he considered retiring from Republic of Ireland duty following Euro 2012.
Both Damien Duff and Shay Given called time on their playing days for their country in July, but the LA Galaxy striker was keen to remain committed to his national team after finding it hard to envisage “never putting on a green shirt again”.
"Of course I thought about it [retirement]," Keane told reporters.
"When Damien and Shay retired it was a sad day for Irish football, because they have been two of the best players this country has ever seen.
"I considered it, but the thought of never putting on a green shirt again was quite difficult to come around to.
"Even now I am dreading that day. I will play as long as I can and as long as I am fit and healthy and as long as the manager picks me."
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Keane did admit that it will be unusual for Ireland to not be able to call on the services of Duff and Given – with the goalkeeper the country’s record appearance maker - as they look to qualify for World Cup 2014, and has backed calls for their return to the squad.
He added: "Of course it's strange not having them around.
"Those two have been around for so long. Me and Damien came in at the same time and Shay came in the year before us.
"When you are used to seeing those faces there, and knowing you will never see them in the squad again it is a bit strange.
"But hopefully he will speak to them and if they change their mind then great because they are sadly missed."