Robbie Keane shares his appreciation for McAllister and Seedorf

Speaking to Team 33, he looks back on two team-mates from his early years

Robbie Keane, Ireland, Netherlands, Clarence Seedorf, Inter Milan

Robbie Keane of Ireland and Clarence Seedorf of Holland ©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

As the stats from his first three full seasons as a pro attest, Robbie Keane hit the ground running quickly when it came to goals.

In two seasons at Wolverhampton Wanderers and then another at Coventry City before Inter Milan came calling in 2000, the Ireland record goalscorer hit double figures in each campaign, while still in his teens.

His spark and ingenuity were much appreciated by Gary McAllister, who had won the Premier League with Leeds United in 1991-92 but was a veteran at Coventry during the 1999-2000 season.

The former Scotland midfielder spoke warmly of how Keane's energy helped him at the time on Off The Ball back in 2015.

Later at Inter Milan, Keane roomed with Dutch great Clarence Seedorf, who had already won two Champions League titles by the time he and Keane became team-mates.

As Keane told Newstalk's Team 33 at the launch of Aer Lingus' big North American Sale, having those experienced names around while he was a youngster proved invaluable.

"Gary McAllister for me was a top, top player, top guy and so easy to play with. As a striker, he was always looking to get you in to set you up for a goal and just a clever, clever footballer and Clarence was the same. A top, top professional," said the former Ireland captain.

"When you play with these guys, it's only going to help you as a young player to watch these guys closely, what they do on the field, off the field. I certainly learned a lot from a lot of players that I played with and hopefully younger players learned a lot from me over the years whether it was the Irish team or the clubs that I played for." 

Keane also touched on the issue of Irish players not tending to go beyond the UK when it comes to club football.

Aer Lingus ambassador, Robbie Keane was at Dublin Airport today to launch Aer Lingus’ big North American sale, offering travel enthusiasts €100 off direct, return flights to all U.S. cities and Toronto.

Not long returned from the Californian coast, Robbie shared his top tips when visiting the popular city of LA which is just one of the 11 North American destinations Aer Lingus fly to direct from Ireland. Book your trip stateside by midnight 8th May at aerlingus.com to avail of this special sale offer.

Aer Lingus guests can enjoy US pre-clearance at Dublin and Shannon airports, the all-inclusive offering of free 23kg baggage allowance, a complimentary meal during the flight, not forgetting hours of in-flight entertainment featuring the latest blockbuster movies, TV box sets, games, music and lots more.