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Flashback Friday! When VIP met Robbie & Claudine Keane, before the American dream

Eleven years ago, we exclusively interviewed the pair in their Dublin apartment

Living the dream: the family frequent red carpet events
Living the dream: the family frequent red carpet events

These days, soccer star Robbie Keane and his stunning wife Claudine are living the dream in LA, with their adorable son Robbie Jnr.

The glamorous couple are constantly on the red carpet for VIP events, decked out in the very best designer gear and mingling with A-list stars, such as Hollywood actors and globally famous singers.

Their lavish new lives are a far cry from when they lived in Dublin when they first got together – although not entirely!

Back in the day! |Colm Henry
Back in the day! |Colm Henry

Back in July 2004, VIP met a fresh-faced Robbie and his then-girlfriend Claudine, then 24 and 21 respectively. We were granted exclusive access to their home in the capital, and chatted to Ireland’s answer to Posh ‘n’ Becks at that time, when Robbie was described as “the new superstar of Irish soccer”.

Back then, Robbie said he shunned the celebrity lifestyle and only did the photoshoot because Claudine wanted him to – his attitude has clearly changed judging by the many star-studded parties he now attends in the States.

The look of love |Colm Henry
The look of love |Colm Henry

Claudine was hoping to win Miss Ireland at the time, aspiring to follow in the footsteps of Rosanna Davison and go on to scoop Miss World. “I’m really proud of Claudine,” Robbie told us. “She’s following her dreams and is building a career for herself. Obviously I’ll support her all the way.”

We asked the beauty what life was like being a WAG, and if it was as glamorous as people thought – and she admitted it wasn’t always as fabulous as it seems.

“Robbie works and trains very hard every day and we don’t get much opportunity to travel, except in June and July,” she said. “Also, because Rob needs to be so fit, it means we can’t really go out at night that much, so we usually just go out for a meal and come home fairly early.”

Claudine's style has certainly changed! |Colm Henry
Claudine’s style has certainly changed! |Colm Henry

There was one perk that she spoke about, however – getting treated to nice, new clothes! “Rob spoils me when we go shopping! We both love clothes and he has bought me some amazing outfits,” she said, noting her favourite designers were Dolce&Gabbana, Christian Dior and Roberto Cavalli.

Speaking about the night they met, Claudine revealed it was in Lillie’s Bordello night club. “Robbie came over to talk to me and I thought he was really nice because he was a little bit shy. He asked for my number – I wouldn’t usually give out my number, but I thought he was really genuine so I did.”

Check out those boots! |Colm Henry
Check out those boots! |Colm Henry

She added that she knew of his famous name, but only afterwards did she cop who had chatted her up. “My cousin came up to me and said ‘Oh my God, that’s Robbie Keane!’ That’s when I first heard who he was, because when I was chatting to him he was very down to earth and didn’t mention what he worked at which made me like him even more.”

Robbie revealed what it was that most attracted him to his future wife – her personality. “She has a great sense of her own independence, and I really admire that trait in people,” he said.

Striking a pose! |Colm Henry
Striking a pose! |Colm Henry

And we had to ask them – was there any truth in the rumours that they were set to wed? “We’re still both really young and I have so much that I want to do first, but I definitely can see myself marrying Rob in a good few years – that’s if they ask me!”

The couple walked down the aisle four years later, in 2008, in a star-studded wedding surrounded by fellow soccer stars and models. And they lived happily ever after…

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