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The Republic of Ireland skipper believes that the physicality of GAA has helped to toughen him up as he set about a career in football

LA Galaxy striker Robbie Keane has suggested that his formative experience of playing Gaelic Football in Ireland may have helped him develop a 'mental toughness' that is beneficial in football.

The Republic of Ireland captain scored a penalty in Galaxy's 3-1 MLS Cup victory over Houston Dynamo on Saturday December 1 and he believes that the tendency to pick up 'more knocks' in Gaelic football helped to galvanise him as he embarked on a career in football.

"I think maybe the mental toughness of Gaelic football helped, you have to be quite hard obviously," Keane told the Irish Examiner. "You get more knocks in Gaelic football than you do in football."

He continued: "I only played until I was 15 and my father told me I had to make a decision on ether one. I was training on Monday, Gaelic Tuesday, football Wednesday, football Thursday, Saturday was the football game and Gaelic game Sunday.

"I had to make a decision to pick one of them. It was always going to be football but maybe the mental toughness of Gaelic has helped me," concluded the 32-year-old striker.