Today, people around the world will celebrate the birth of the patron Saint of Ireland, Patrick. In the Republic of Ireland, he also has some famous company.
Giovanni Trapattoni, current manager of the Republic, celebrates his 70th birthday on this date.
"Trap" has been in professional football for fifty years. A former typesetter who became a hard-nosed midfielder for AC Milan in the 1960s, he won every conceivable honor with the Milanese club.
As a manager, his C.V. is second to none. He has won domestic titles in Austria, Germany, Italy, and Portugal, respectively. With Juventus, he won the European Cup in 1985. He is the former manager of the Azzurri, where as a player, he was capped 17 times.
Since 2008, Mister Trapattoni has been the Irish boss with very good results. Presently, the Republic sits top of the table with Italy after four World Cup qualification games in Group 8.
1963 European Cup Final Against Eusebio of Benfica at Wembley
Interview with FIFA.com
"What attracted you to Republic of Ireland, and is it a job you are enjoying?Source: FIFA.com, Still Hungry at 70.
I am enjoying it very much. I could have chosen another country but I felt that I had all the right circumstances here. Importantly, I also had Liam Brady (Trapattoni's assistant), a man I know and respect, and someone I knew could help me with the specific demands of coaching here...
Your fellow countryman Fabio Capello has also made an excellent start since taking charge of England. Do you feel Italian coaches have a special aptitude for this kind of job?
I think it's not so much that Italians have a particular talent, but rather the product of the experience Fabio and I have, especially our experience of coaching abroad..."
Group 8 Table
Upcoming World Cup Qualifiers for Eire
- 28 March at home (Dublin) with Bulgaria
- 01 April away (Bari) to Italy
Cent'anni (100 years) and all the best wishes to the great Mister, Giovanni Trapattoni.