The Black Pearl hailed the Tallaght native's contribution to the national team and advised him to keep pulling on the green shirtPaul McGrath has urged Robbie Keane to extend his international career beyond Euro 2012.
The 83-times capped defender believes that Keane owes the country nothing after racking up 115 appearances and becoming the nation's record goalscorer with 53.
"I think he has done everything with the goals he has got for us," McGrath told the Irish Examiner.
He added: "He always shows up and the enthusiasm he shows has been magnificent. He’s just been a great ambassador for Ireland. I hope he doesn’t retire. I hope he keeps playing."
McGrath and Keane's careers with the Boys in Green never crossed paths as the former Manchester United star made the last of his international appearances a year before Keane made his debut in 1998. He said Keane has earned the right to make his own decision when he opts to hang up his boots.
"I think there is a stage when you know yourself. You don’t really contribute as much as you were used to when you were five years, 10 years younger. It does get harder.
"Back in my day you wanted to play for as long as you could because you wanted to play football for as long as you could.
"In Robbie’s case, like I said, I think he’s done everything he was asked to do and he’s done it brilliantly.
"It would be sad to see him go because he is obviously one of the best strikers we’ve ever had. Probably the best we’ve ever had," concluded McGrath.
Keane is expected to spearhead the Irish attack at Euro 2012 and add to his record goals tally for his country.