Robbie Keane jokingly issued a hands-off warning to Cristiano Ronaldo as the Portugal star closes in on his scoring record.
Ronaldo scored his 21st goal in European Qualifiers on Saturday to help Portugal claim the first win of their campaign at Serbia. While many fans undoubtedly celebrated his latest strike, Keane probably wasn’t one of them.
The Republic of Ireland legend’s proud record of 23 goals in European qualifiers is now within Ronaldo’s reach. With Portugal still to play another seven matches, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has plenty of time to smash yet another record.
Although that didn’t stop Keane from making a cheeky attempt to defend his record.
“I think you have enough records, Cristiano. Leave this one,” wrote the former Tottenham and Liverpool star on Instagram Stories before Portugal’s victory.
Keane retired from football himself last year after spells with the likes of Inter Milan, Spurs, Liverpool, Celtic and LA Galaxy.
The 39-year-old, who is Ireland’s all-time record scorer on 68 goals in 146 appearances, now works as an assistant coach for both the national team and Middlesbrough in the English Championship.
Robbie Keane begging Cristiano Ronaldo not to break his record 😂 pic.twitter.com/gikdy3ZBsKFiorentina owner Rocco Commisso was left gushing over Franck Ribery's performance against Juventus, which he rates above that of even Cristiano Ronaldo's.
— CaughtOffside (@caughtoffside) September 8, 2019
Ronaldo, meanwhile, will have a chance to close in or even break Keane’s record on Tuesday night.
Following their 4-2 win over Serbia, Portugal will travel to Lithuania for their next Euro 2020 qualifier. However, they can’t afford an off-performance on the night due to the incredibly tight battle in Group B.
The European champions currently hold the final qualification spot for next summer’s tournament in second on five points. Meanwhile, Luxembourg and Serbia are tied in third place on four points from four matches.
Group B leaders Ukraine, who have played two more matches than Portugal, are already eight points ahead.
The Navigators will, therefore, need their record scorer Ronaldo to bang in the goals for them should they hope to defend their crown.