Monday, 11 February 2008

Trap closes on Republic role

Giovanni Trapattoni is expected to be named as the Republic of Ireland's new manager on Wednesday.

Football Association of Ireland (FAI) chiefs were widely reported to have met with Trapattoni in Austria over the weekend to discuss whether he will succeed Steven Staunton as Ireland boss.

Trapattoni is thought to have accepted the role and will take up the job, which became vacant in November when Staunton was fired for failing to guide Ireland to the European Championships this summer, once his contract with Austrian outfit Red Bull Salzburg expires in May.

It is believed that the 68-year-old has won the support of the FAI's three-man managerial selection committee of Don Givens, Ray Houghton and Don Howe and has beaten former England manager Terry Venables to the job.

Trapattoni has spent a lifetime at the top of Italian and world football - coaching AC Milan, Fiorentina, Inter, Juventus, Cagliari, Bayern Munich, Benfica and Stuttgart.

He won six Serie A titles with Juventus and one with Inter, while securing league titles with Bayern, Benfica and current club Salzburg last year. As well as lifting the Coppa Italia twice and the German Cup, he has been successful in European club competitions too - winning the European Cup, 3 UEFA Cup's, the Cup Winners' Cup, the European Super Cup and the Intercontinental Cup.

However, Trap's 4-year spell in charge of the Italian national team is a rare blot on his glittering CV. He was criticised for his negative tactics as the Azzurri lost in the last 16 at the 2002 FIFA World Cup finals in Korea/Japan and failed to get out of their group at the UEFA Euro 2004 finals in Portugal.

Former Irish midfielder Liam Brady, who played under Trapattoni at Juve, is expected to be amongst the Italian's backroom staff.

The FAI chief executive John Daleney, who hopes to tie-up the deal in the next few days, has called a board meeting for Wednesday afternoon where an announcement will be made.

After England opted for Italian Fabio Capello for their 2010 World Cup campaign, it looks like Ireland have followed a similar route – which would be intriguing for Trapattoni as the World champions Italy are in Ireland’s qualifying group for South Africa.

Source: Sky Sports

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