Giovanni Trapattoni believes the Republic of Ireland’s qualification for Euro 2012 has lifted the mood of the nation at a difficult time for the country.
The Italian has guided the Boys in Green to a first major finals since the 2002 World Cup, an achievement he described as ‘‘very emotional” as it was achieved against the backdrop of the economic crash.
“Without a doubt, I’ve put myself into an Ireland that has been facing problems,” Trapattoni said in an interview with UEFA.com. “We also have some problems in Italy, but in this case here, we’re talking about Ireland. They’ve said that the football team with Trapattoni has helped lifting a whole nation, and I have to say it’s been very emotional, because we’ve really lifted the nation.’’
Despite guiding Ireland to the finals, Trapattoni has at times endured severe criticism over the side’s style of play.
However Trapattoni insisted that under his stewardship the team have achieved the best results they could possibly have achieved and pointed out he can’t call on players of the class of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
“I think that the modern game means achieving the maximum you can with what you have at your disposal, and I think we have achieved the maximum,’’ he said.
“We don’t have those outstanding players like, for example, Spain or players like Messi or Ronaldo, just to give you a few examples.
“We’re a team; we’re a well-organised team, well-balanced and with a precise identity, so we know how to play when we need to play and we know how to defend when we have to defend.’’
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