Watch: Webinar With Irish Football Legend Robbie Keane And Rick De La Croix

Watch: Webinar With Irish Football Legend Robbie Keane And Rick De La Croix

Adrienne Faurote
By Adrienne Faurote May 6, 2020

Haute Time had the opportunity to have a one-on-one webinar with Irish football legend Robbie Keane and the watch industry’s top names, Rick de la Croix.

Keane is an Irish former professional footballer, a prolific goalscorer who played in different leagues in Europe, America, and Asia.  Keane is the most capped player in the history of the Republic of Ireland’s national team, with 143 caps since his first in 1998. He is also their leading scorer, with 67 international goals to his name. He represented Ireland at the 2002 World Cup, 2012 European Championships, and at Euro 2016. Keane had been the captain of the Irish national team from 2006 to August 2016. He is currently the assistant manager of Middlesbrough.

De la Croix is the Former Associate Director of Tottenham and distributor of Hublot behind several of the brand’s football initiatives both in Latin America with Colombian players Radamel Falcao and James Rodriguez, the Mexican national team, along with football legend Pelé

For the full interview, please see the link below.

Here is a glimpse of what was discussed.

On life under quarantine…

Haute Time: How has quarantine been for you in Ireland?

Robbie Keane: We have been very lucky. The government locked things down pretty quickly. We’ve had a lot of patience. The government has been pretty strict in locking things down, which was the right thing to do as the numbers are coming down. I think like everywhere, all we can do is stay home and stay safe and let the frontline workers do their jobs.

On Ireland post quarantine… 

Haute Time: The Irish people are very sociable. In Ireland, there are more pubs per square mile than any other European country. Do you think people will go back to their social habits after isolation?

Keane: I think people will be a little bit different. They have gotten used to being at home and used to doing things that they haven’t done before; barbeques and things like that, and more family time. I think this will definitely open people’s eyes in terms of going forward. I think it will take a long time to fully get back to the way it was before. Will it ever get back? I’m not sure. 

On the football season resuming…

Haute Time: Should football finish the season? What are your thoughts about that?

Keane:  It’s a tough one. As I said before, first and foremost we have to make sure that the people on the frontlines are safe. They are doing a tremendous job, they are putting their lives at risk to save ours which is an incredible job that they are doing. I think we have to think about them. Would everyone like football to start back? Absolutely, there is no question about that. Everyone misses football. I think they realize, now that it’s gone, how much they really do miss it. But things have to be a hundred percent before we get back to normality. In the meantime, we play behind closed doors. The problem with that is if there is a player or various players who have underlying issues that may go home or to their parents’ where they may catch the virus, what happens then? The club will have to close down. Will we restart again? I don’t really know the answer. There has been a lot of debate over the last few months. Playing football behind closed doors will be difficult. As a player for over 20 years, you play for the crowds, and to not have that would be a very strange feeling for all the players. It will feel like a behind closed doors pre-season game with no fans and they’re never really great. Can I see it getting back? Because of the finances, I think people will try to do everything that they can to get it back, but unfortunately, the virus is in charge here. No one else is in charge. And if the virus is not gone, I just can’t see a way where the league is going to start back again. 

Rick de la Croix: You (Keane) are a legend and have played for big crowds, and that probably motivated you as a player. Without having the fans, how can that affect certain teams? Would that have an enormous effect if Liverpool would win or not win? Could that be a shock, that all of a sudden they are not playing in front of the cup and not win? 

Keane: I think for Liverpool, no, because they are only two games from actually winning. For other teams, yes, especially if you are fighting for regelation, for example.

On the partnership between Hublot and Football.

Haute Time:  You were involved with many soccer players and Hublot. Pelé, Ronaldo, James Rodriguez. Tell us about your thought process on how you put these partnerships together?

De la Croix: It’s not really down to me. You have Jean Claude Biver and Ricardo Guadalupe that run the brand, and I was a bit of a networker in the picture, having been involved with the Spurs so I brought a lot of those relationships together. Football is an influence on society. And 10 to 15 years ago when we started, I think it was 2005, 2006, people looked at football as a blue-collar sport and they forgot that the people in the boxes or the owners and the players were consumers. That’s how he found a nitch in the market. He (Biver) said, “Football is a global sport. It influences, creates notoriety, creates awareness.” At the end of the day, when footballers wear our products, and we’ve seen this with Robbie and many other people I have had the luck to work with, it influences millions of people around the planet.

Robbie Keane + Rick de la Croix webinar

On Philanthropy…

Haute Time: Charity and philanthropy are very important to you both. Robbie, you and your wife just donated your green Hublot and a jersey to raise money for “Our Hospital Heroes” in association with Mater Hospital Foundation. Connor McGregor has donated $20,000 dollars and the foundation has almost $70,000 dollars.

Keane: Nearly 70k! So whoever is watching they can keep donating. By the end of this week, we are going to pick a winner for the watch and the jersey. But that was obviously very generous of Connor to donate that. He is a big football fan – I said I would get him something special but you never know he may win the watch and the jersey, who knows! It was very generous. That is going to go a long way to help the frontline workers who I have said before they are doing a tremendous job, fighting in the front lines for our safety. And the charity has been great. As soon as the money comes in, it goes straight back out for equipment for frontline workers. Please keep donating.

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