Robbie Keane’s desire to skip the MLS holidays inspired his move to Aston Villa and a return to the English Premier League.
The LA Galaxy star will spend the next eight weeks on loan at Villa Park as he sharpens his fitness for club and country.
Desperate to be sharp for the Euro 2012 bid in Poland this summer, Keane wants to play as much as he can between now and then.
Rather than put his feet up on a Californian beach between now and the LA Galaxy’s return to training at the end of February, Keane has opted to play at the highest level in England.
“I could be enjoying my holidays now but that’s not me – I want to play football,” insisted Ireland’s record scorer.
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“I want to play as long as I can whether that’s in the MLS or anywhere else. I love playing football and love training, I could easily be sitting on the beach now and having a holiday but I enjoy the game and being around the lads.
“As long as I feel good and don’t get too many injuries I’ll play as long as I can regardless of where that is.”
As he prepares to make his debut against Everton on Saturday, Keane is adamant the move to Birmingham club Villa will be beneficial to all concerned even in such a short space of time.
He said: “Damaging my reputation is not something I’ve thought about. What impact can one player make in six games or so?
“Hopefully it will be a good one. I hope it works out well for both parties. I don’t think I’m running a risk, no. I’ve had a good career in the Premiership and scored a lot of goals.
“When you get older and play the amount of games I have played, you get wiser, you read the game better than you do when you were 17.”
The Tallaght native has spent the week training with Villa and has been impressed with the club and manager Alex McLeish so far.
“I will be doing my utmost to help the team and make as much impact as I can in the seven weeks I am here,” added Keane.
“Villa are a good side in a transitional period with a new manager. It takes time for a new manager to get his ideas across and get his own players in.”