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Published: 17:50 | 24/8/16

McCarthy & Quinn lead tributes to Keane

Dubliner announces international retirement

Former Ireland boss Mick McCarthy has led the tributes to Robbie Keane, who announced his retirement from international football on Wednesday.

Keane was named in the Ireland squad for the friendly against Oman on 31 August at the Aviva Stadium and the opening World Cup qualifier in Serbia on 5 September, but the 36-year-old confirmed later on Wednesday that the match against Oman will his 146th and final appearance.

The Dubliner was handed his senior international debut as a 17-year-old by McCarthy against the Czech Republic in March 1998.

"He was a joy to manage," McCarthy told Sky Sports News.

"He is a terrific footballer and at the age of 18 he used to light up the place in training.

"Whether we played home or away, he still played with the same joy - he was like a street footballer that just loved playing.

"He wasn't just a street footballer that juggled the ball. He had such a quick brain and he was terrific."

Keane's former Ireland team-mate Niall Quinn hopes the LA Galaxy striker "goes out with a bang" against Oman and adds to his 67 international goals..

"You have to take stop and think and look at all he has achieved and done in a green jersey," the former Arsenal, Manchester City and Sunderland striker told Sky Sports News.

"It been Roy of the Rovers stuff, and I think all of us over here will applaud him for what he has done, and thank our lucky stars we had him around these past few years.

"Just look at the great England players - Sir Bobby Charlton, Gary Lineker and Wayne Rooney - his record surpasses theirs, in a team that wasn't quite as successful as the team Sir Bobby played in!"

Keane is no longer a regular starter in Martin O'Neill's side but did feature at Euro 2016 as a substitute against Sweden and Belgium.

"It has been a wonderful journey for me to have played with the Irish national team for over 18 years since I made my senior international debut back in 1998," he said.

"I have enjoyed it all. It has also been a great honour, for both me and my family, to have been given the opportunity to captain my country for over 10 years.

"As a young boy growing up in Dublin playing football on the street I could never have imagined the path my life would take. It has exceeded my wildest expectations."

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