‘He was very quiet’ – Robbie Keane opens up on connection with Berbatov at Spurs

Robbie Keane
Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images

Robbie Keane has opened up on his strike partnership with Dimitar Berbatov at Tottenham and has put their prolific connection down to a lack of selfishness between them. 

Berbatov linked up with Keane at Spurs after arriving at the club from Bayer Leverkusen in 2006 and developed an instant bond with the former Republic of Ireland international. 

The duo formed a fearsome frontline partnership for two years in North London and were part of the side that claimed Tottenham’s last piece of silverware in the form of the League Cup in 2008. 

They also shared April’s Premier League Player of the Month award in that year (BBC Sport), with the strikers netting 15 each in the competition that season (TransferMarkt).

They both departed Spurs in the summer of 2008, with Keane joining Liverpool and Berbatov eventually securing a switch to Premier League rivals Manchester United. 

And Keane has now reflected on his link-up with the Bulgarian striker at Tottenham, crediting their success to a lack of selflessness when it came to scoring. 

He told Sky Sports Premier League: “We complemented each other very well. I [wasn’t] really a No.9, he [wasn’t] either so I think people found it difficult to play against us, because he’d go high and I’d come short, playing in those little pockets and vice versa. 

“But what an unbelievable football player. A very pure guy. He was very quiet when he first started, he didn’t give much away but as soon as he got onto the pitch he was incredible. 

“He was a wonderful footballer. With me and him, we didn’t care who scored. We always looked out for each other and no one was selfish and I think that was the reason why the two of us really clicked.”

Spurs Web Opinion 

Keane and Berbatov had that striker connection that was great to watch, even though it was for a very short amount of time. 

It was much like the prelude to Harry Kane and Heung-min Son’s partnership today as both had that understanding without needing much communication. 

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