Veteran Republic of Ireland star Robbie Keane has been named in Martin O’Neill’s final 23-man Euro 2016 squad.
Keane’s involvement was in doubt after he was forced to miss Ireland’s 2-1 friendly loss to Belarus – the last of the team’s European Championship warm-up fixtures.
The Los Angeles Galaxy striker has only played six games so far this MLS season, scoring four goals, and pulled out of training on Saturday with a calf injury, having battled a knee problem lasting from March to May.
— FAIreland (@FAIreland) May 31, 2016
Manager O’Neill rated Keane’s fitness as a serious concern, but the country’s all-time leading goal-scorer has done enough to be included.
“Robbie’s the captain of the side and he feels he’s going to be fit,” O’Neill said after announcing the squad.
“He thinks he’ll be fit for Sweden, if not then he’ll be ready for the second game.”
Joining him on the plane to France are fellow forward Shane Long and winger James McClean – Premier League regulars with Southampton and West Brom respectively.
In midfield, Everton’s James McCarthy also did enough to make the squad despite injury concerns of his own.
“James McCarthy did some work on his own today,” O’Neill said.
“These decisions are tough because these lads want to play for their country. That’s the big decisions.”
Norwich City star Wes Hoolahan joins McCarthy in the squad, while Aiden McGeady will also be on the plane despite starting just 10 games for Sheffield Wednesday in the Championship last season.
O’Neil opted for Keiren Westwood over David Forde as third-choice goalkeeper behind Shay Given and Darren Randolph.
Aston Villa’s Ciaran Clark got the nod despite a nightmare season with his relegated club, while Seamus Coleman, John O’Shea and Stephen Ward are all selected in defence.
Ireland open their campaign against Sweden in Paris on June 13, followed by games against Belgium and Italy.
Ireland squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Shay Given (Stoke City), Darren Randolph (West Ham), Keiren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday)
Defenders: Cyrus Christie (Derby), Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa), Seamus Coleman (Everton), Shane Duffy (Blackburn), Richard Keogh (Derby), John O’Shea (Sunderland), Stephen Ward (Burnley)
Midfielders: Robbie Brady (Norwich), Jeff Hendrick (Derby), Wes Hoolahan (Norwich City), James McCarthy (Everton), James McClean (West Brom), Aiden McGeady (Everton), David Meyler (Hull City), Stephen Quinn (Reading), Glenn Whelan (Stoke City)
Forwards: Robbie Keane (Los Angeles Galaxy), Shane Long (Southampton), Daryl Murphy (Ipswich), Jonathan Walters (Stoke City)
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