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Posts Tagged ‘ World Cup 2002 ’

Survey Reveals Irish World Cup Verdict

worldcup (easports)

Ireland may not be represented at the World Cup this month, but we’re still excited about the tournament.  A survey conducted by EA SPORTS™ 2014 FIFA WORLD CUP BRAZIL™ videogame amongst Irish sports fans has found that despite the Boys in Green not qualifying for Brazil, almost 90% of respondents are still looking forward to the World Cup, with only less than 2% saying that they are not interested in the tournament at all.

We’ll be watching…… one third of respondents plan to watch over 75% of the matches during the tournament, while a massive two thirds will tune into at least 50% of the matches.  Almost 88% planning on watching at home with RTE’s coverage by far the most popular choice (65%) amongst fans. Continue reading

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End of an Era As Ireland’s Greatest Calls It A Day

Ireland winger Damien Duff has announced his retirement from the international game, following in the footsteps of Shay Given.

The Fulham star brought an end to his 14 year stint in the Irish jersey ahead of the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign.

The 33-year-old earned his 100th and final cap when he led the national side against Italy at Euro 2012.

The Dubliner has been a regular in the side since making his debut against the Czech Republic in 1998.

Shay Given, the Republic of Ireland’s most-capped player of all time, announced his retirement earlier this month after an international career that saw him make 125 appearances for the Boys in Green. Doubts remain over the future of Richard Dunne while the Irish management team have hinted that captain Robbie Keane will remain in the fold.

Duff told the Football Association of Ireland’s website: “I found it very difficult to make this decision, not least for the respect in which I hold Giovanni Trapattoni.

“I have enjoyed so many good times in the green jersey and want to thank everyone involved, especially the fans for making the last 14 years so special.

“I want to wish Giovanni, Marco [Tardelli] and everyone involved with the Irish team every success for the future and will be supporting them every step of the way.”

Manager Giovanni Trapattoni said: “Damien will be missed by us and by Irish fans everywhere.

“He was immensely skilful and a great example to the players who come after him. I give him my warmest best wishes for his future career.”

Duff, who featured at both the World Cup 2002 and Euro 2012, will be remembered fondly by Irish fans for his skilful displays on the wing. The Ballyboden native was a handful for every opposition defence and Ireland’s World Cup opponents will no doubt be glad he has called it a day.

The former Blackburn, Chelsea and Newcastle star was arguably in his prime during the World Cup in 2002 when he was voted Ireland’s player of the tournament. The winger did his best to lift the spirits of a team plagued by infighting and scored a memorable goal against Saudi Arabia, after which he made a bowing gesture to the adoring Asian fans. To this day he is still revered for that gesture and held in high esteem by Asian football fans, some of whom have visited The Cottagers training ground in order to catch a glimpse of the star.

Tributes have been flooding in quickly for Duff, who will go down in history as one of Ireland’s greatest ever players.

Shortly after he announced his decision some of his Irish colleagues took to Twitter to offer their praise for the wing wizard and darling of Irish football.

Shay Given (@No1ShayGiven) “Sorry to see Damien Duff has retired from international football. It was an honour to play with such a great player & pro. Well done Duffer.”

Simon Cox (@SCoxy31real) “Sad to see the news about Duffers decision to retire I can say what a absolute gent and true pro he was. It was an honour to play with him.”

Sean St Ledger  (@seanstledger12)  “Really sad to hear of Duffers international retirement. He’s a true legend and it’s been an honour to play with him. He’ll be missed in camp.”

The Ireland squad to face Kazakhstan was announced shortly after Duff’s decision to retire. The following squad will travel to Astana on September 7th.

Westwood, Forde, Randolph, Wilson, O’Shea, St Ledger, O’Dea, Ward, Kelly, McShane, Gibson, McCarthy, Coleman, O’Brien, McGeady, Keogh, McClean, Keane, Doyle, Long, Cox, Walters.

Questions Remain As Ireland Set For Road To Brazil

The Republic of Ireland have been drawn in Group C with Germany, Sweden, Austria, Faroe Islands and Kazakhstan for the qualification stage of FIFA World Cup 2014.

The Boys In Green kick off on the road to Rio with an away trip to Kazakhstan on September 7th, before welcoming Germany to Dublin a month later. Giovanni Trapattoni will be hoping for a change in fortunes having missed out on the last World Cup thanks to that faithful night in Paris. Trap ventures towards the qualifying campaign still not knowing what players he has at his disposal. Shay Given has already announced his international retirement and will be replaced by Keiren Westwood, a player the Italian has a lot of faith in. But the likes of Richard Dunne, Damien Duff and Robbie Keane all have question marks remaining over their future. Trapattoni will be hopeful the trio can make swift decisions on their futures in order to allow him to prepare effectively for the upcoming campaign.

Germany

It’s an exciting time to be a German fan with the current squad at Joachim Loew’s disposal. World renowned stars such as Mario Gomez and Bastian Schweinstieger, the rising talents of Marco Reus and Andreas Schurrle , they really do have the complete squad despite their failure to win Euro 2012.

The Germans always pose a threat to any team and this current crop of stars is no different. The beaten Euro 2012 semi finalists and Sweden will be Ireland’s biggest opponents as they seek to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.

Ireland face a tough start to the qualifiers and will need to get a favourable result when the Germans come to Dublin in October, something which is easier said than done. This Ireland team is in a period of transition both in terms of personnel and tactics. If the team isn’t settled prior to the October clash then it will be worrying what the Germans might do to us, especially when you consider our own performance at Euro 2012.

Germany are in a similar bracket to Spain and Italy. Many would bet against Ireland getting a result against Germany but then again it’s not something we haven’t done before. Remember Robbie Keane’s last ditch equaliser at the 2002 World Cup? Or more recently the nil all draw at Croke Park in 2007?

Nonetheless if Trap can diffuse the apparent tension within the squad at present and effectively reshuffle his pack, a positive result is achievable.

Sweden

The Swedes have come a long way since a 3-0 mauling in Dublin in 2006, the first match of Steve Staunton’s doomed managerial career as Ireland manager. Erik Hamren’s side competed at both Euro 2008 and Euro 2012 although they narrowly missed out on the 201 World Cup.

Sweden were disappointing at Euro 2012. Many expected them to challenge France and England for the top two spots while the Ukraine were also in with a shout. Sweden lost their opening two games against Ukraine (1-2) and England (2-3) before conjuring up a credible 2-0 win over France but by that stage they were already eliminated. They failed to flatter at the Euros and much expectation was placed on the shoulders of the talismanic Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but one man doesn’t make a team as was proven.

Ireland shouldn’t necessarily fear the Swedes, the two sides are fairly equal. If Ireland are to stand any chance of getting out of this group they must remain undefeated against the Swedes. A win in Dublin is vital while a draw in Stockholm would be credible.

Austria

Ireland will expect six points from their two meetings with Austria, a team they haven’t faced since suffering two successive 3-1 wins in 1995 whilst enroute to a Euro 96 playoff with Holland.

Austria have always been an average nation on the international front. The last competition they qualified for was the 1998 World Cup although they made an appearance at Euro 2008, thanks to their co-hosting responsibilities securing them automatic qualification.

They do however have some players who are more than capable of posing a threat to Irish aspirations. Marc Janko (FC Porto) and Marko Arnautovic (Werder Bremen) are two strikers that are well respected around Europe and offer a potent goal threat while rising Bayern Munich star David Alaba is also one to watch.

Faroe Islands

It was set up to be a battle between Trap and former Ireland manager Brian Kerr but sadly the former St Patricks Athletic manager has left his post in Torshavn despite making great strides with a poor team. The Faroes have never qualified for a major tournament.

The Faroe Islands are a country we have become accustomed to in recent years. They are always seen as the whipping boys of the group yet in the past we have found it tough against them although we always break them down in the end and come away with the victory.

You have to cast your mind back to the 2006 World Cup qualifiers to see the last time the Boys In Green battle the islanders, recording a 2-0 win in both the home and away tie. Similar scorelines should be plausible this time around. Goal difference may prove to be a factor in this group and if it does we must take our chances against the Faroes and not rest on our laurels.

 Kazakhstan

Ireland’s trek to Astana will see Trap’s side battle Kazakhstan for the first time ever, as the Kazakh’s only joined UEFA in 2002. The country has no record of ever qualifying for any major competitions and their status is best viewed by looking at their squad which boasts only two players who play outside the country.

The trek to Astana offers something of an unknown quantity yet despite the soaring heat and difficult conditions out there we should be able to record a comprehensive win to kickstart our campaign.

Predictions

1-Germany

2-Ireland

3-Sweden

4-Austria

5-Faroe Islands

6-Kazakhstan

 

 

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