Trapattoni wants Ireland to be in contention ahead of Italy tie
Giovanni Trapattoni admits he wanted the Republic of Ireland to avoid his native Italy in the Euro 2012 finals draw in Kiev
Giovanni Trapattoni wants the Republic of Ireland to still be in with a fighting chance of reaching the quarter-finals when they meet Italy in their final Euro 2012 Group C game on 18 June.
The Irish were also drawn with Croatia and world and European champions Spain – but it was the Italians that the 72-year-old manager really wanted to avoid.
“I wanted to avoid Italy because they are strong mentally and because we know each other,” said Trapattoni.
“We knew we had to face strong opponents and I hope we don’t do ourselves harm and that we get to June 18 in a calm way.”
But Trapattoni, who managed Italy between 2000 and 2004, is convinced that the Republic can cause an upset in Group C.
“We know our position in the rankings,” said Trapattoni. “We know we have to play with another mentality. Spain are famous. They won the World Cup. But everything is possible.”
The veteran boss admits he is looking forward to managing Ireland at their first major tournament in 10 years and he believes their disciplined approach has been the key to their success.
“I have done this job all over the world in different countries including Italy, Germany, Austria, Portugal, now with Ireland,” he said.
“I really love my job and it will give me huge satisfaction to take Ireland to a European Championship.
“It shows that when you are really well organised and have real self-belief you can do it, even with smaller countries.
“Everybody on the Irish team is looking forward to bringing our football and our style to the tournament.
“For me it is not about what I have done in the past, and I have done a lot, but about what the future will bring.”