Robbie Keane retires from football and heaps praise on wife Claudine and former clubs Leeds, Tottenham, Wolves and Liverpool in emotional statement

ROBBIE KEANE has officially retired from football, piling praise on wife Claudine and former clubs including Leeds and Tottenham in an emotional statement.

The former Republic of Ireland striker, 38, was confirmed as one of new national boss Mick McCarthy's assistants on Sunday.

Robbie Keane retires from football and heaps praise on wife Claudine and former clubs Leeds, Tottenham, Wolves and Liverpool in emotional statementPA:Press Association10 Robbie Keane has officially retired from football aged 38
Robbie Keane retires from football and heaps praise on wife Claudine and former clubs Leeds, Tottenham, Wolves and Liverpool in emotional statementPA:Press Association10 Robbie Keane thanked wife Claudine for her support during his career

Now Keane has officially retired from the game having last played for Indian side ATK last season, having left Los Angeles Galaxy in 2016.

In a statement the former Liverpool and Wolves forward said: "Today, after 23 wonderful years, I am formally announcing my retirement as a professional footballer.

"From Crumlin United around the world to the likes of Milan, London and Los Angeles, I could never have imagined the path my football life would take.

"It has exceeded all the hopes I had as a football-mad boy growing up in Dublin."

Robbie Keane retires from football and heaps praise on wife Claudine and former clubs Leeds, Tottenham, Wolves and Liverpool in emotional statementSportsfile10 Robbie Keane piled praise on wife Claudine for her 'sacrifices' in his careeer
Robbie Keane, by club

Wolves – 1997-99

Coventry – 1999-2000

Inter Milan – 2000-01

Leeds – 2001-02

Tottenham – 2002-08

Liverpool – 2008-09

Tottenham – 2009-11

Celtic (loan) – 2010

West Ham (loan) – 2011

LA Galaxy – 2011-2016

Aston Villa (loan) – 2012

ATK – 2017-18

Robbie Keane retires from football and heaps praise on wife Claudine and former clubs Leeds, Tottenham, Wolves and Liverpool in emotional statementPA:Empics Sport10 Robbie Keane was particularly thankful to Tottenham

Congratulations on a fantastic playing career Robbie Keane! 👏

Thanks for the memories! 👍#COYS pic.twitter.com/UZQwA3o92S

— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) November 28, 2018

In his lengthy statement, Keane reserved special praise for clubs who took a chance on him their fans.

He wrote: "I was a street footballer full of hope armed with huge ambitions and a determination to succeed. All I needed was that one chance.

"I would like to pay a special thanks to Wolverhampton Wanderers for believing in me.

"My professional career followed a path that took me far and wide, giving my family and I the opportunity to meet and work with so many wonderful people and experience several different countries and cultures.

Robbie Keane retires from football and heaps praise on wife Claudine and former clubs Leeds, Tottenham, Wolves and Liverpool in emotional statementInstagram10 Robbie Keane, pictured here with Drake, couldn't help but take a moment to thank partner Claudine
Robbie Keane retires from football and heaps praise on wife Claudine and former clubs Leeds, Tottenham, Wolves and Liverpool in emotional statementPA:Empics Sport10 Robbie Keane thanked every one of his clubs and fans
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Robbie Keane retires from football and heaps praise on wife Claudine and former clubs Leeds, Tottenham, Wolves and Liverpool in emotional statementPA:Empics Sport10 Robbie Keane enjoyed a superb 23-year career in football
Robbie Keane, by numbers

CLUB

Games – 737

Goals – 325

COUNTRY

Games – 146

Goals – 68

TOTAL

Games – 883

Goals – 393

"I have always wanted to test myself and strive to be the best that I could be.

"I embraced new challenges be it at Coventry City, Inter Milan, Leeds United and then possibly the most successful period of my club football career with Tottenham.

"The club will always hold a special place in my heart.

"Playing and captaining my country has been the highlight of my career. I enjoyed every moment of the most incredible journey.

"I would also like to acknowledge the fans. It was always important for me to have a good connection with the fans.

"I would like to thank the teammates I have played with and the managers and staff I have worked with."

Meanwhile, Keane went on to thank his family for their constant support in his career.

Robbie Keane retires from football and heaps praise on wife Claudine and former clubs Leeds, Tottenham, Wolves and Liverpool in emotional statementPA:Press Association10 Robbie Keane and former Miss Ireland wife Claudine have two sons together
Robbie Keane retires from football and heaps praise on wife Claudine and former clubs Leeds, Tottenham, Wolves and Liverpool in emotional statementPA:Empics Sport10 Robbie Keane thanked the likes of Leeds for his development
Robbie Keane retires from football and heaps praise on wife Claudine and former clubs Leeds, Tottenham, Wolves and Liverpool in emotional statementPA:Empics Sport10 Robbie Keane will go down as a Premier League icon for his superb career

He said: "Thanks to my parents Anne and my late father Robbie Snr, my brother Graham and sisters Natasha and Amy for everything they have given me.

"You can never know how much your love and support has meant.

"Finally, I want to thank my wife Claudine and my two sons Robert and Hudson – who are always there for me – for all their love, support and encouragement.

"I am so incredibly grateful for all you have done for me since you came into my life, for the many sacrifices you have made so that I could pursue my career.

"Your love and inspiration has motivated me every day across each new adventure we have embraced around the world, and I have no doubt there will be many more to come."

Keane emotionally concluded: "To all those who believed in me, supported me and picked me up when I needed a hand, you can never know how much that has all meant.

"It was an honour to represent you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart."

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