Euro 2012: We have the quality to beat Spain, insists Trapattoni

Giovanni Trapattoni insists the Republic of Ireland can beat Spain in their must-win Group C clash on Thursday

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff
giovanni trppattoni
Giovanni Trapattoni's side lost their opening Euro 2012 game against Croatia Photo: Kelvin Gillmor

giovanni trppattoni

Giovanni Trapattoni is convinced his Republic of Ireland side can beat Spain if they execute their game plan against the world and European champions on Thursday.

The 73-year-old is facing the biggest test of his managerial career with Ireland on the brink of elimination following their 3-1 loss to Croatia in their opening Group C game.

But the veteran manager is confident his side has the necessary determination and quality to beat Vicente Del Bosque’s Spain and keep their chances of reaching the last eight intact.

“I am proud to be the manager of the Irish players because the Irish players have heart,” said Trapattoni.

“But we have achieved results not only with heart because we have met France, Bulgaria, Italy, many other teams and we played the same. We play our football.

“It’s creative enough and it’s technical enough. Maybe Spain have one or two more creative players, but football is not only about creative players.

“Today, football is about balance on the pitch and strength with attitude and also luck.

“In the first game, we were unlucky – there was a very clear penalty against Robbie – but we didn’t get it.

“We have attitude, mentality, commitment, technical ability. We don’t make bets, but I think we can win. Why not?”

Giovanni Trapattoni fact-file

• Capped 17 times by Italy, Trapattoni spent the majority of his club career as a defender and ball-winning midfielder with Milan, winning seven major trophies including two European Champion Clubs’ Cups.

• Started coaching with Milan but established himself as one of Italy’s greatest ever ‘allenatori’ during ten-year spell with Juventus, which yielded victories in all three major European club competitions – an unprecedented achievement – and six Serie A titles.

• Moved abroad and won national titles with Bayern, Benfica and Salzburg, becoming the first coach since Ernst Happel to win league championships in four different countries. No success, however, with the Italian national team after unexpected early exits at 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004.

• Returned to international management with Ireland in 2008; led the team undefeated through World Cup qualifying group – including two draws against Italy – before suffering play-off defeat by France.

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