Ex-Ireland, Tottenham soccer star Robbie Keane joins Maccabi Tel Aviv as head coach

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Maccabi Tel Aviv soccer team announced Monday that former Ireland and Tottenham Hotspur striker Robbie Keane was joining the club as head coach on a two-year deal.

“I am delighted to take on this challenge at Maccabi,” Keane said in a statement. “My team and I look forward to beginning work and we have confidence in our ability to do what is necessary to prepare the team for the coming season.”

Team owner Mitch Goldhar welcomed Keane, saying he has the attributes the team needs.

“Robbie brings the mentality, character, energy and focus of a winner, traits he exhibited everywhere he played. These characteristics now combined with ambitions to succeed as a coach are aligned with our objectives at Maccabi,” Goldhar said.

Maccabi Tel Aviv said that Keane would arrive with his team in the coming days to start preparations for the upcoming season.

According to the Ynet news site, he will earn $400,000 per season.

Maccabi Tel Aviv players celebrate with the trophy after beating Hapoel Tel Aviv in the State Cup final match, at the Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv, June 2, 2021. (Oren Ben Hakoon/Flash90)

Striker Keane was the captain of the Republic of Ireland’s national team for ten years, becoming its top goal-scorer and most capped player.

He began his career at Wolverhampton Wanderers, moving between clubs for a number of years before settling at Tottenham Hotspur in 2002-2008.

Keane even captained the side and scored a goal in a UEFA group game against Hapoel Tel Aviv at Bloomfield Stadium in November 2007.

Tottenham’s Captain Robbie Keane (L) celebrates with teammates Steed Malbranque (R) and Didier Zokora (C) after scoring the first goal of the match during their UEFA Cup group G football match against Hapoel Tel Aviv at Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv, 8 November 2007 (AFP PHOTO/JACK GUEZ)

He then moved to Liverpool for a year before moving back to White Hart Lane in 2009.

Keane was loaned out to other teams for a couple of seasons before he moved to the United States in 2011, where he played alongside David Beckham at LA Galaxy.

After retiring from the pitch in 2018, Keane became assistant manager of Middlesbrough and of the Republic of Ireland national team.

In May 2023 he joined the coaching staff at Leeds United, but left the club after just 25 days when the team was relegated from the Premier League.

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