It's the first time in recent memory that someone other than Robbie Keane filled the Republic of Ireland #10 jersey. Because of squad numbers, even when Keane wasn't involved, the 10 jersey would remain absent, so within the squad - the first player to fill that jersey had sizeable boots to fill, and they knew it.
The first man up, was Robbie Brady.
Robbie gets Robbie's #10 jersey. https://t.co/WLgv64X65O
— Balls.ie (@ballsdotie) September 5, 2016
With no Wes Hoolahan in the team, Brady was the natural choice. He became the fulcrum of the Ireland team at the Euros, and his creative midfield role that will eventually get the best out of him.
For his part, Brady was humbled by the honour of getting the coveted 10 jersey, and revealed that he exchanged some text messages about it to Keane:
It’s a massive honour. It just opened up and became available and I fancied it. I want to do well and I wanted to wear it.
I just sent Robbie a little text and said I’d try not do too much damage to it. He said ‘don’t worry, you only need to score 69 goals.
No pressure then.
To be fair to Keane, that's exactly the sort of humour being Ireland's record goalscorer affords you the luxury of having. Well played.