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Liverpool can beat anyone, Keane says

Former Reds striker sees no reason why club can’t lift sixth European title

Image Credit: AFP
Ireland’s forward Robbie Keane with Gianluca Zambrotta at the Dubai Opera Garden on Sunday.
Gulf News

Dubai: Liverpool are Uefa Champions League favourites and could beat anyone thanks to their attacking football fuelled by Egyptian talisman Mohammad Salah, according to former Reds striker Robbie Keane.

Jurgen Klopp’s side face Roma in the semi-finals after dismantling Manchester City 5-1 on aggregate in last week’s quarter-finals, while Saleh has been unstoppable scoring 40 goals in 45 matches across all competitions in his first season at Anfield. A possible final awaits them against the winners of the other semi-final between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

“I think with the attacking force that they have, certainly for me they are one of the favourites when you look at the teams left in it,” said the 37-year-old Irishman at Sunday’s Hublot Match of Friendship at Dubai Opera.

“They are quite capable of scoring against anybody at any time and defensively they’ve been good, so I don’t see any reason why they can’t go on and win it.”

If successful, it would be Liverpool’s sixth European title and their first since 2005. Keane himself only played for the club briefly scoring seven in 28 appearances during the 2008/09 season, and was more synonymous with Tottenham.

But, that didn’t stop him heaping praise on Salah.

“Unbelievable, he’s been phenomenal really,” added Keane of Salah. “You could name any of the front three really,” he said in reference to Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino. “But for him at a personal level, he’s been unreal, been great to watch and hopefully he continues until the end of the season, which I’m sure he will because he’s been in fine form.”

Keane recently led 2014 and 2016 Indian Super League winners Atletico de Kolkata to a ninth-place finish in the 10-team table after taking over as player-manager at the tail end of the season from Teddy Sheringham and Ashley Westwood.

“It was a great experience for me and I stamped my authority on the team,” he said. “Now I’ve got to take a few weeks off and decide what I want to do, whether I carry on playing, which I could easily do for another couple of years or I start going down the coaching road. I’ll take a bit of time out to consider it and then we’ll see but by no means will I be sitting idle.”

Having trained with Al Ahli last season and met with Fujairah coach Diego Maradona this week, Keane also refuses to rule out a permanent move to the UAE.

“Listen, I’d never say never, I’ve been coming out here a long time on holiday with the family and it’s certainly something that would interest me. I’ll always keep my options open and certainly this is a place I’m very used to, having been coming here for 12 years.

“I got invited to go along by Diego,” he said of his appearance in the stands at Fujairah’s President Cup quarter-final defeat to Al Ain last Thursday. “I’m here 12 days on holiday and it was good to see him, he invited me for dinner, so we’ll see what happens.”

Interestingly, Robbie Keane’s wife Claudine was spotted in the stands at the Hublot match alongside Diego Maradona’s partner Rocio Oliva, but the Argentine legend was not present.