Ireland’s record international goal scorer Robbie Keane revealed he has been a devoted Maccabi Tel Aviv fan all his life during his introductory press conference as the club’s new manager.
The 42-year-old Dubliner confirmed that he has held a dream of one day joining the The Yellows since he was a boy, and they now join the list of boyhood clubs Keane has played for or coached.
“Liverpool, Celtic, Leeds, Spurs, Coventry, Wolves – it was a huge honour to play for them all having supported each of them with all my heart as a young boy,” the striker said.
“The Inter thing was never going to work because I always preferred AC.”
“And obviously I was huge Ireland fan – I’m sure if Soccer Aid was a thing back then I’d have been a Rest of the World XI ultra too.
“But there’s just something special about that famous yellow and blue strip of Israel’s biggest club that I could not say no to.”
“Though I never got to play for them, I won’t rule out pulling on my boots again now I’m the manager here.”
Keane went on to describe how how he idolised the stars of past Maccabi teams.
“Avi Nimni! What a star – I took my cartwheel celebration from him. And I’ve a Benny Tabak tattoo on my right in-step, the part of my foot that struck so many goals.
“I still have an signed Eli Driks shirt at home in my safe alongside the rarest, most precious substance known to humankind – a Spurs winners medal – from the 2008 League Cup final.”
Indeed, the Irish football hero recounted how he dreamed of one day wearing their famous yellow and blue jersey.
“I wish I could’ve played alongside him Shaya Glazer – The Lion of The Levant – 139 goal in 166 games between 1945 and 1966. .
“As long as he let me score a few too. of course.”
He then claimed to have a shrine dedicated to the club goalscoring hero hidden in his closet, complete with posters, scarves, and even a boot reputed to have been worn by the forward when he scored against Hapoel Rishon LeZion in the 1946 Israeli Cup final.
Supporters of the club are now clamoring to unearth any evidence that would confirm Keane’s long-time fandom, but have thus far only turned up pics of Keane alongside much more famous people.
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“Wow, I didn’t know our new manager knew Cheryl Crowe, Tom Brady, and the bloke who played the da in Honey I Shrunk the Kids!” said one awestruck fan as they googled images of the former Ireland captain.
While rival supporters claim Keane’s pronouncements are nothing more than a clumsy PR stunt to win over fans given his lack of any managerial experience.
“He might be the biggest Maccabi fan in the world for all I know, but why was he reading out the history section of the club’s Wikipedia during the press conference?” one sceptical onlooker asked.
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