Football.com - everything football

Keane slams England no-shows

By Football News



Republic of Ireland striker Robbie Keane has criticised England players who prefer not to play for the national side.

Ahead of what will be Keane's 124th cap for this country, the LA Galaxy forward was questioned on the recent retirements of John Terry and Rio Ferdinand, insisting nothing would ever convince him to withdraw his services to Ireland.

"It's very simple, I want to play for my country more than anything," Keane said.

"It still means as much to me now as when I made my debut at 18 years of age.

"I can never understand players who don’t want to play for country, it’s very hard to take in.

"They say they are injured. I can't understand it. I know some players I have played with would prefer not to meet up with the national team. I find that hard to believe."

Ferdinand withdrew from the squad for two World Cup qualifying games against San Marino and Montenegro in March because of fears over his fitness plan. It was also reported that tensions between Ferdinand and Terry were a problem that prevented the Manchester United man's involvement at Euro 2012 and Keane feels his former Leeds team-mate may have some regrets on how the situation was handled.

"Rio is such a well-respected player and probably still one of the best defenders in the world," Keane said.

"He made his choice and probably, maybe, he went about it the wrong way.

"Whatever happened between him and Roy Hodgson that is something you are going to have to ask them. What I do know is that England are missing one of the best players in the world."