It was Robbie Keane’s night at the Aviva Stadium on Friday night and his Ireland team-mates were eager to hail their captain.
Making a record 126th international appearance, and capping it off with his second international hat-trick as he notched up his 57th, 58th and 59th goals in a 3-0 win over the Faroe Irelands.
Fellow frontman Conor Sammon, who came on as a second-half substitute for Jon Walters and set up Keane’s third, said: “It’s hard to know what else to say. It’s incredible to get that amount of appearances, the way he has looked after himself in his career, the amount of goals he has scored as well.
“Is that 59 he’s got? It won’t be long until he’s into the 60s. It’s a pleasure for myself to play alongside him, and to train alongside him as well, to learn from being around people like that.”
Also full of praise for his skipper was Wes Hoolahan, who started his first competitive match for his country last night.
The Norwich plamaker said: “He’s been brilliant, record caps and record goal-scorer and to score a hat-trick on that night is an amazing achievement. He’s been fantastic for Ireland over the last 10 or 15 years.”
Hoolahan also indicated that he is unlikely to make the trip to New York for the Republic’s friendly match with Spain on Tuesday. “I don’t know yet [if I’ll go], we’ll have to discuss that as my hamstring is quite sore,” said the 31-year-old.