The most capped footballer of the Irish national team, Robbie Keane is also Ireland’s top goal-scorer, with 68 international goals. Starting his career at 17, he was initially part of the English league system and played for teams such as Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur. He later also represented LA Galaxy.
Irish footballer James McClean is best known as a winger for Wigan Athletic and has also played for teams such as Sunderland and Derry City in the past. While he initially played for Northern Ireland junior team, he rejected a call to join their senior team and opted for the Republic of Ireland.
One of the most successful footballers from Ireland, Roy Keane became one of the stars of Manchester United. A talented midfielder, he has helped the team win multiple FA Cups and Premier League championships. Post-retirement, he has also managed teams such as Sunderland and Ipswich Town.
Irish footballer Darren Randolph is best known as a goalkeeper for teams such as West Ham United and Birmingham City. He has also had a successful stint with the Scottish team Motherwell and with the Premier League team Charlton Athletic. He has also made headlines for his relationship with singer Alexandra Burke.
Renowned as a talented midfielder, former Irish footballer Stephen Ireland is known for his stints with clubs such as Manchester City, Aston Villa, and Stoke City. He has been, in the past, been involved in controversies regarding his exclusion from the Ireland team, and amid speculations, eventually never returned to play.
Scottish-born footballer James McCarthy is now best known as a dependable Celtic midfielder. He also represents the Irish national team, because his grandparents were Irish. He has previously won an FA Cup with Wigan Athletic, beating Manchester City, and has also played for the English club Everton.
Legendary Irish footballer Paul McGrath has been a dependable center back for teams such as Manchester United and Aston Villa. Born as an illegitimate child of a Nigerian father and an Irish mother, he was raised in an orphanage. In spite of being a sporting genius, he has had alcohol issues.
Former Irish footballer Jonathan Walters has had a 10-year stint with the Premier League, playing for teams such as Stoke City. He has also captained Ireland and been capped 54 times for them. Post-retirement, he has focused on coaching and is now associated with the Ireland U19 team.
Born to Nigerian parents in Dublin, Irish footballer Michael Obafemi grew up in London and began his youth career with teams such as Chelsea and Arsenal. His senior career saw him playing for Southampton and Swansea City. Though eligible to play for Nigeria, England, and Ireland, he chose to play for Ireland.
Irish footballer Anthony Stokes is best known for his stints with teams such as Arsenal, Celtic, and Sunderland. Known for his volatile temper, he has been in trouble with the law for headbutting a car park attendant and for stalking his former girlfriend and sending her father abusive texts.
Richard Dunne had joined the youth team of Everton at age 15 and then had a 9-year stint with Manchester City. Known as Dunney to his fans, the former Irish football star became the first player to be named City’s Player of the Year 4 times. Post-retirement, he has focused on golf.
Starting his career with the youth team of his hometown Barnsley, footballer Mick McCarthy later played for the Irish national team and clubs such as Manchester City and Celtic. He has also coached teams such as the Wolverhampton Wanderers and Sunderland, apart from appearing as a sports commentator on TV.
Footballer Matt Doherty, who had a successful youth career with teams such as Bohemians, is now a dependable defender of the Tottenham Hotspur and the Irish national team. Owing to his Dutch mother, he was eligible to play for the Netherlands, too, but chose the country of his birth instead.
Apart from winning 2 Premier Leagues with Chelsea, former Irish footballer Damien Duff also had a 14-year stint with the Irish national team, playing in over 100 matches with them and also representing them in a World Cup. Post-retirement, he turned coach and has managed teams such as Celtic and Shelbourne.
Irish-born Steve Finnan started his football career with the youth team of Wimbledon and then graduated to Birmingham City, Fulham, and Liverpool. Capped a little over 50 times for the Republic of Ireland, he is also the only player to have played for all 4 English football league levels and the Football Conference.
Irish-born footballer Glenn Whelan is best known for his stints with teams such as Manchester City, Aston Villa, and Stoke City, and now represents the Bristol Rovers as a defensive midfielder. With his 90 appearances for Ireland, he also became the ninth-most-capped player from Ireland.
Irish-born footballer Shane Long is best known as a striker for English club Southampton. He had also been a national-level hurler and a Gaelic footballer in the past. He was part of the 2011 Nations Cup-winning Irish squad and has won a Football League Championship with Reading, too.
Though one of most talented Irish footballers ever, Wes Hoolahan played only 43 matches for the Irish national team. He is better known for his decade-long stint with Norwich City, with whom he won a Football League One title. Even after retiring from international football, he continues to play for clubs.
Known for his 12-year stint with Manchester United, Irish footballer Denis Irwin established himself as a dependable left-back, winning many championships with the club, such as the Premier League and the FA Cup. Post-retirement, he launched a successful media career as a sports presenter on channels such as MUTV.
Dublin-born footballer Niall Quinn made waves as a striker for clubs such as Arsenal, Sunderland, and Manchester City. Known for his towering 6’4” frame, he won a Football League Cup with Arsenal. His popularity can be gauged by the fact that his fans created a song, Niall Quinn's Disco Pants, just for him.
Irish footballer Séamus Coleman is best known as the captain of Everton and the Irish national team. Though he scored his first international goal in his 40th match for Ireland, he had earlier captained the team to a UEFA Euro group game win over Italy.
Also known as Chippy for his love for fish and chips, Irish footballer Liam Brady gained the reputation of an attacking midfielder. Known for his stints with clubs such as Arsenal and Juventus, he later also managed Celtic and Brighton. He has also been a sports pundit for RTÉ Sport and the BBC.
Sheffield United defender John Egan is the son of a Gaelic footballer father and a footballer mother, and himself played Gaelic football and hurling in his younger days. He led the Irish U19 team to the 2011 U19 European Championship semi-finals and has also captained Ireland against Bulgaria.
Once named the next Paul Scholes, Irish footballer Darron Gibson is known for his stints with Manchester United and Everton. However, his image suffered a massive blow after his brush with the law in a drunk-driving case and his expletive-laced rant with fans in a bar.
While striker Andy Keogh now plays for the Australian club Perth Glory, he has previously represented many English clubs, such as Leeds United, Wolverhampton Wanderers, and Cardiff City. He has also played for clubs in Thailand, Saudi Arabia, and India, and has appeared in 30 matches for the Republic of Ireland.
Former footballer Kevin Doyle initially played for Irish teams such as Cork City and St. Patrick's Athletic and later for English clubs such as Reading and the Wolverhampton Wanderers. He had also been a strike partner for Robbie Keane in his matches for the Republic of Ireland.
Former footballer Shay Given is the second-highest-capped Irish player ever. He began his career as a teen and signed with Glasgow Celtic at 15. An ace goalkeeper, he has played for teams such as the Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle United, and Aston Villa. He now coaches Derby County.
Bradford City defender Fiacre Kelleher was born into a sports-loving family and grew up playing hurling with his brothers, one of whom is Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhín Kelleher. Starting his career with Celtic, he has also played for the Irish U-19 team and clubs such as Oxford United and Wrexham.
Irish defender Kevin Long, who represents the club Burnley in the Premier League, had begun his career with the youth team of Cork City. Starting his stint with Burnley in 2010, he has often been loaned but remains the team’s longest-serving player. He has also played for the Irish national team.
Retired footballer Stephen Hunt initially excelled in hurling but later switched to football. The Irish-born player is known for his stints with teams such as Reading, Wolverhampton Wanderers, and Ipswich Town. Though a skilled winger, he has had less than 40 appearances for the Irish national team.
Irish footballer Pádraig Amond started his career with Shamrock Rovers and now plays for Exeter City. He has also had a brief stint with the Portuguese club Paços de Ferreira and was one of the top goal-scorers in the 2018-19 Emirates FA Cup campaign. He is also a sports columnist.
Known as a powerful winger, Irish footballer Katie McCabe has established herself as a star player for Arsenal. She also captains the Irish women’s national football team. She has not only won the Women’s National League twice but has also won the FA Women's Cup and Super League titles with Arsenal.
Irish footballer Jonathan Afolabi has been with the Scottish team Celtic since the beginning of his senior year, though he has been on loan to teams such as Dundee and Ayr United and currently plays for Airdrieonians. Born to Nigerian parents in Dublin, he began his youth career with Shamrock Rovers.
Former Irish footballer Gary Kelly is best known for his 15-year stint and over 500 appearances with Leeds United. Though he had started training as a striker, he later found fame as a right back. He and his nephew, Ian Harte, were both part of the Irish 2002 World Cup team.
Apart from being the goalkeeper for the Scottish club Kilmarnock, Irish-born footballer Colin Doyle is also their goalkeeping coach. He is known for his 12-year stint with Birmingham City and has played for the Republic of Ireland, too. The Cork-born sports star initially excelled in hurling and Gaelic football, too.
Born to an African-American father and an Irish mother in Germany, Derrick Williams was eligible to play for the US, Ireland, and Germany, and eventually chose Ireland. As a teen, he rejected a Manchester United offer and joined Aston Villa instead. He now represents the American soccer club LA Galaxy.
Irish footballer Jay O'Shea is best known as a star midfielder for the Australian A-league football club Brisbane Roar. He has also previously represented teams such as Birmingham City and Chesterfield. He has been part of the Irish U19, U21, and U23 teams, too.
Born to a rugby club chairman, Sarah Rowe was always interested in sports. Apart from Irish association football, she has also played Gaelic football and Australian rules football. She was part of the Irish UEFA Women's Under-19 Championship-winning squad and has represented teams such as Castlebar Celtic and Shelbourne Ladies.
Born to Nigerian parents in Dublin, footballer Olamide Shodipo moved with his family to London at age 2 and grew up to join the youth team of Queens Park Rangers. Now part of the Rangers senior team, he plays on loan for the EFL League One team Sheffield Wednesday.