Robbie Keane has pledged 100% commitment to Ireland, and said that only Giovanni Trapattoni or a higher power will end his international career.
Keane kicked off life as an MLS pioneer at an open-air press conference in Los Angeles last Friday when he vowed not to let Galactic duties interfere with his national service.
He then went on to score for the LA Galaxy on his debut, after just 21 minutes of their 2-0 win at home to the San Jose Earthquake.
Named on Tuesday in the Ireland squad for the crucial Euro qualifiers against Slovakia and Russia next month, Keane also insisted at his LA unveiling that he is not on holiday in America and will criss-cross the Atlantic as long as his country wants him.
“I have always been 100% committed to the Irish team, and nothing will change that unless the manager of Ireland or whoever else above that tells me differently,” said Keane.
“I have been very fortunate with Ireland. I have had some fantastic years playing for my country and we are in a great position now in the Euros.
“We have two massive games coming up next month and I will be there. I am really looking forward to them, just as I am looking forward to playing with the Galaxy.
“I am not ready to change anything with Ireland. When I am on international duty I will be focused entirely on Ireland, it will be the same when I am with the Galaxy. My full commitment to Ireland will continue.”
Keane also revealed that he had no time to consult with Irish boss Trapattoni before becoming the latest star in the LA Galaxy.
“I got a nice text message from Trap yesterday, but the deal happened so quickly that I haven’t had time for a good chat with him,” added the 31-year-old.
“It was one of the quickest deals in the history of the MLS. When my representatives rang me last Friday and told me of the interest from the Galaxy, I told them to make it happen.
“The people who say I should have gone to the Championship should know that you can only talk to someone when they make an offer and agree a deal with Spurs. There was no offer from anyone bar the Galaxy.”
Keane quickly contradicted claims he has moved to a retirement home on America’s West Coast.
“I am not here for a holiday, I am here to play football first and foremost and that is the most important thing,” claimed Keane at the start of his two year deal worth a reported $9 million.
“Everything else aside from football is irrelevant. This is about playing football. My career is about playing football and it always has been.
“It is the right time for me to come here. I am someone who believes that when you get a good feeling about something you should do it and I had a good feeling about this.
“I have played in the Premiership for a long, long time. I did what I had to do there. I scored a lot of goals. It was time for a new challenge and this opportunity came up, an opportunity you couldn’t take lightly.
“I spoke to people and I knew straight away it was right for me. Having spoken to David Beckham when he trained at Spurs last winter, it was an easy decision.”
The Irish captain has no issue with those who claim he will tread water on the Pacific shoreline -- nor has he any interest in their claims.
“For me, I know that you will always get criticized in football. It is something I have lived with since I was 17,” said Keane.
“The most important thing for me is that I do what I do best for my new club which is to play well and score goals. That’s the only thing I am interested in.”
A re-union with Red Bulls star Thierry Henry is on the cards for Keane on Sunday when he will also come up against former Wolves teammate Carl Robinson, ex-Spurs player Teemu Taino and Wayne Rooney’s brother John.
“I have a couple of friends playing with the Red Bulls -- I am looking forward to meeting them and beating them next week,” smiled Keane.
It then took Keane just 21 minutes to announce his arrival in the U.S. with his debut goal as the Galaxy beat the San Jose Earthquake 2-0 at the Home Depot Center.
“I think anytime you are with a new team it’s always nice to get your first goal. It was nice to get the first goal, and hopefully there is a lot more to come,” said Keane after 70 minutes of action.
“When you play with good players, it’s always easy. I think you’ve seen that with my goal with David Beckham’s quick thinking and I was ready for it.”
Keane was given a rapturous welcome by the LA Galaxy supporters, something he appreciated.
“I repaid the fans for their welcome with a goal,” said Keane. “Hopefully there are a lot more to come.
“I think the fans are fantastic. When I arrived at the airport it was brilliant, and then the fans again tonight.”
David Beckham was credited with the assist for Keane’s goal. “It was a great night, obviously Robbie playing for the first time,” said Beckham.
“It was a good game for him to get off the mark with a goal straight away. It’s always important for a goal scorer to do that.”
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