Euro 2012 alternative team guide: Republic of Ireland
10 word description: Rank outsiders relishing being back on the major tournament scene.
Coach: Giovanni Trapattoni
Vastly experienced / old, Trap has guided RoI to their first international tournament in 10 years. His reward is a draw against his home nation, Italy, and the defending champions Spain. The pressure’s off: he’s got nothing to prove and nothing to lose.
Star man: Robbie Keane
Slightly out-of-sight and out-of-mind at LA Galaxy, Keane is still a goalscorer. They’ve got players who can put in shifts in other positions, but the Irish arguably don’t have anyone else who’s as natural in front of goal as the former Tottenham man.
Prem connections: Everyone except Sean St Ledger, David Forde and Aiden McGeady.
Comedy name potential: Shay Given, Shane Long, Simon Cox.
Fun country fact: The Republic of Ireland reportedly has more mobile phones than there are people.
Anthem / rating: Amhrán na bhFiann / 7 out of 10
Solid effort. Some of the lyrics have been particularly appropriate since Jack Charlton’s reign:
Soldiers are we,
whose lives are pledged to Ireland,
Some have come
from a land beyond the wave