“And here’s Robbie Keane.. YES!”

It’s absolutely mental really. I’m emotionally invested in a group of millionaires kicking a pumped up lump of leather around an immaculately maintained field. Every rational part of me can see how absurd it is, but I still love it.

I’ve been reliably informed (by Facebook and reddit) that Robbie Keane scored THAT goal against the Germans twelve years ago yesterday.

(Apologies for the quality and length of that clip, I’m not a very a patriotic person but I felt the need to include the RTE commentary and the goal is at the very start of it anyway.)

I remember that goal as vividly as any moment from my childhood. I was ten years old and I’d taken the day off school to watch the match. I didn’t even pretend to be sick or anything, it was just accepted that this was much more important than anything we might learn that day. I was later informed that the few who made it to school ended up watching it in the ‘halla’ anyway. In retrospect, watching it among my friends might have been more appropriate for the occasion, but I’ve always preferred doing things on my own. If anything, the lack of company led to a more unrestrained moment of ecstasy when Oliver Kahn was finally beaten.

I lost my shit when it went in. Leapt off the couch, roared the house down and nearly killed myself copying Robbie’s cartwheel and tumble. The feeling of pure bliss was unparalleled. Few things before or since have made me feel quite the same way. That might sound a bit pathetic to those of you who don’t worship the holy trinity of Giles, Dunphy and Brady, alongside our Lord and Saviour, Bill O’ Herlihy. Then again, you probably don’t loathe Thierry Henry or rank Put ’em Under Pressure among the finest compositions of the 20th Century so your opinion is null and void.