Puskas, Kocsis, Klose, Muller, Keane.
That’s the list of the top five scorers in UEFA international history, with Robbie Keane the only active player in the group.
The Republic of Ireland captain has 67 goals to his name, just one behind the legendary Gerd Muller and four behind Miroslav Klose. He is currently the 14th highest scorer in international football history.
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After scoring a brace for Ireland yesterday against Gibraltar, Keane’s EURO qualifying record rose to 23 goals, the most in the competition’s history. The striker has tallied a goal for his country in every year since 1998, a ridiculous 18-year run of scoring at the highest level.
What makes it even more impressive is that Keane has not played on particularly strong Ireland squads. He only played in one World Cup as a 22-year-old in 2002, where he scored three of the team’s six goals. He played in one European Championship in 2012, but Ireland lost all three of it’s matches.
The names above him on the European scoring list all are considered some of the greatest to ever play the game. Ferenc Puskas led Hungary to the World Cup final in 1954 and is accepted as one of the top ten players of all-time. Sandor Kocsis was also on that Hungary team, and won the Golden Boot with 11 goals in the 1954 tournament.
Gerd Muller won a European Championship and World Cup with a West Germany team that was dominant in the 1970’s, while Klose won the World Cup with Germany in 2014, and is the only player ever to finish in the top-four of four straight World Cups. Klose’s 16 World Cup goals are the most in the tournament’s history.
No one is ever going to match the strike-rates of Kocsis or Muller, who both averaged 1.1 goals per game for their country. While it has taken Keane more than 140 caps to reach his tally, the numbers don’t lie. He is one of the elite goalscorers of all-time.
The amazing thing is, Keane is currently playing some of the best football of his career at 35-years-old. He’s scored 89 goals over the past four seasons with the Los Angeles Galaxy, and was named MLS MVP in 2014. The way he is trending, Keane could continue to score for the next three years.
Not to mention, Keane’s 126 goals in the Premier League leaves him sitting 13th in the league’s history, behind legendary names like Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry. It’s time to show the man some respect.Follow @KyleLynchFC