The former Sligo Rovers play was sensational in his role as captain against the Italians
Seamus Coleman came of age on Wednesday night when he donned the captain's armband for Ireland against Italy before putting in a performance to back it up and Roy Keane understands how lucky Ireland are to have the Donegal right-back around the camp.
Ireland's assistant manager believes Coleman is capable of playing for any of the top teams with his eyes shut and is an excellent presence around the dressing room and training ground with his calm demeanor.
"I can't speak highly enough of Seamus," said Keane. "We're lucky to have him. I know he's at a good club like Everton but Seamus Coleman could play for any of the big teams, he could do that with his eyes shut.
"He's a great lad around the place and he's got a nice way about him. And when he was the captain the other night, you just knew he wouldn't let us down. He leads in a different way, different captains bring different stuff to the party, but he leads by example. He's a relaxed kid and he's certainly not on an ego trip. You're not supposed to be on an ego trip when you're captain. Strangely enough, I'm not sure what went on in the huddle but apparently he said some pretty good stuff which is good to hear."
Ireland tore into their opponents from the first minute and a lot of that was attributed to the motivational words Coleman had for his teammates in the huddle before the game. Keane, often cynical about facets of the modern game, thinks the huddle and Coleman's address did seem to work.
He said, "I was getting a bit cynical about huddles, I was thinking that everybody is doing it and the more times teams do it the more times they seem to lose but obviously it worked the other night. Let's hope it works on Sunday."