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Given lauds ton-up Keane

Ireland captain Robbie Keane has been hailed a legend and an inspiration as he prepares to make history for his country on Wednesday night.

The friendly with Argentina signifies a double coup for Keane as the 30-year-old will win his 100th cap, becoming only the fourth to do so for the Republic. Keane will also lead out the boys in green into their new Aviva Stadium home for the first time, a 50,000-seater venue built at a cost of £350million.

"It's a great achievement to get to 100 caps, especially with the occasion of the new stadium as well, it's history in the making," said goalkeeper Shay Given, one of three other players along with Kevin Kilbane and Steve Staunton to bring up their Irish century.

"With it not being a competitive game, it's also great for Robbie as he can enjoy it more.

"But looking back, he's been huge to Ireland over the years, with a goalscoring record at international level that stands alongside some of the best players in the world.

"Sometimes we forget that and underestimate how important Robbie is to the team."

As far as strike partner Kevin Doyle is concerned, Keane compares to some of the greats of Irish football such as Liam Brady, Johnny Giles and Paul McGrath.

"He's won more caps, scored more goals, he's captain, has played and scored in World Cup finals, so he is ranked as high as those," said Wolves forward Doyle.

"Anyone who gets 100 caps, first of all it shows how much they love football, and then there's his goalscoring record of a goal nearly every two games.

"It's a privilege to play with him. In fact, I'm lucky to be able to play with him.


From Belfast Telegraph