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Robbie Keane to set record for Ireland, no plans to retire

Republic of Ireland v Georgia - International Friendly

DUBLIN, IRELAND - JUNE 2: Republic of Ireland’s Robbie Keane celebrates his goal with team mates during a International friendly match between the Republic of Ireland and Georgia at the Aviva Stadium on June 2, 2013 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Peter Muhly/Getty Images)

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For Irish national team captain Robbie Keane this afternoon in Dublin will be a special occasion.

The 32-year-old forward will lead his team out against the Faroe Islands in a World Cup qualifier, alongside his four-year-old son Robert, as Keane will make his 126th appearance for Ireland and set a new record.

LA Galaxy’s captain and star forward already has a record 56 international goals to his name, and players setting such landmarks are usually coming towards the end of their careers.

But not Keane. Not by a long shot. He plans to go on for many more years, and with his form amongst the best in Major League Soccer over the last year, why not?

“I have certainly got no intentions at all [of retiring] at this moment in time,” said the LA Galaxy forward. “I love doing it, I love training every day. When you get older, your desire and your hunger are even more so because even though I don’t feel I am coming to the end - because I am not, I still have at least another five, six years left in me - you know you are not that young lad any more.”

One thing that springs to mind as Keane continues to propel Ireland forward well into his 30’s, is that whenever he departs the LA Galaxy miss him dearly.

Since Keane left after the 4-0 win over Seattle on May 26, LA have lost 2-0 to the Carolina RailHawks in Open Cup action and then suffered a humiliating 5-0 hammering at New England.

(More: Landon Donovan + Robbie Keane = getting it done)

Keane reportedly has two years left on his LA contract and the Galaxy should probably think about extending that. As talented as youngsters Jack McBean and Jose Villarreal are, Keane is their main man and don’t they just know it.

Even the resurgence of Landon Donovan has stalled since Keane’s departure for international duty, with Donovan’s partnership with the Irish captain of huge importance to LA’s attacking impetus.

So today is a day of celebration for Keane and his family, as he aims to spur Ireland towards Brazil 2014 with a key win against European minnows, the Faroe Islands. This afternoon, wherever he is, Bruce Arena may be watching on and praying that Keane doesn’t pick up an injury. His return to LA will hopefully see him fighting fit, as the Galaxy aim to get their MLS campaign back on track with their talisman leading the charge.