Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Captain Keane credits 'Il Trap' for Irish rebirth
by Ridge Mahoney, June 10th, 2012 3:22AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  italy

MOST COMMENTED

Los Angeles Galaxy forward Robbie Keane, Ireland’s all-time leading scorer, will captain the team Sunday when it opens the European Championship against Croatia.

An estimated 20,000 fans are in Poznan for the game, and Keane credits Ireland's 73-year-old Italian coach, Giovanni Trapattoni, with building support behind the team.

“The job the manager has done has been great,” says Keane. “We’re a small country [population 4.5 million] and we came really close the past few years, like in France where we did well to win the game. We don’t need to talk about what happened after that, but we’ve been close.”

France eliminated Ireland in the 2010 World Cup playoffs with the help of a goal created when Thierry Henry handled the ball, but Trapattoni stayed with the team despite his age.

Trapattoni has coached AC Milan, Fiorentina, Juventus and Cagliari in his native country as well as in Portugal, Germany and Austria. He was Italy’s coach from 2000 to 2004 and though his appointment by the Irish soccer federation was regarded by some as a strange one, he was born on St. Patrick’s Day.

"Every goal I face is a challenge. I still have the same determination, the same concentration and the same attention to detail," Trapattoni said. “I'm really grateful to the Irish people because they believe in us -- they believe in what we've done."

Trapattoni says it's important his players appreciate the support they have.

"I repeat always," he said, "you must be proud about our country, our people, because they make a very big sacrifice -- the money, the travel, the trip. The players know this. All players before the training, I repeated this to them. Our country expects, our supporters expect. Football is about the 90 minutes, but it’s important that we guarantee our people total and complete commitment.”

Keane is eager to see how the presence of Irish brightens the tournament and if they can add a bit of push to Ireland’s longshot ambitions to advance.

“To have a manager like we have, with the places he’s been and the experience he has, he’s completely changed the atmosphere of the whole country with the way he [carries] himself,” says Keane. “It’s great for the team that we’re back in a major tournament because everybody loves to see the Irish fans covering the town.”



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Confidential
Portland Timbers face added pressure loaded on MLS top dogs    
Portland beat RSL, 1-0, to wrap up its preseason training stint in the desert. It has ...
Legal primer explains past and (possible) future of soccer litigation    
The lawsuit filed by U.S Soccer against U.S. Women's National Team Players Association in U.S. District ...
Chicago Fire's Paunovic is counting on new youngsters    
A major makeover of the Fire under head coach Veljko Paunovic and general manager Nelson Rodriguez ...
For once, USA starts off a year just as it's supposed to    
Defensive miscues. Sloppy touches. Blown assignments. Confusion. These negative facets of play have been part and ...
Jozy shows he's still the man up front    
U.S. soccer fans have a love-hate relationship with most of their big stars. For every fan ...
Lee Nguyen on how he parlayed longer offseason into national team success    
Revs attacker Lee Nguyen got his first U.S. start against Iceland last Sunday and turned in ...
Revs' Heaps relishes competition and preaches consistency    
Aside from the apparent departure of Jermaine Jones, not a lot has changed on the New ...
USA-Canada match underscores Olympic issues for Klinsmann    
A games against Canada Friday may be the last opportunity for USA coaches Jurgen Klinsmann and ...
Christian Pulisic, 'the American Jewel,' must be protected    
I can think of 10 reasons we should be excited about Christian Pulisic. Those are each ...
Paths of Miazga and Cropper cross with both at crucial points    
An FA Cup match this weekend between MK Dons and Chelsea is a tussle between a ...
>> Soccer America Confidential Archives