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Page last updated at 17:28 GMT, Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Trapattoni named Republic manager

Giovanni Trapattoni was Liam Brady's manager at Juventus
Giovanni Trapattoni wants Liam Brady as his number two

Giovanni Trapattoni has been named manager of the Republic of Ireland.

The former Italy coach has agreed a two-year deal and will leave Austrian club Red Bull Salzburg to take charge for the game against Serbia on 24 May.

His salary will be partly funded by entrepreneur Denis O'Brien, one of Ireland's richest men.

Trapattoni is keen on Arsenal youth coach and ex-Ireland midfielder Liam Brady as his assistant, having managed him at Juventus in the early 1980s.

"I am hopeful Arsene Wenger will let Liam do the job as well as his Arsenal commitment," the 68-year-old said.

"I knew Liam as a player and I asked him if it was possible for him to work with me a bit.

"He speaks good Italian and he knows the players. We can work together but not all the time because Liam has a good job at Arsenal."

Qualifying for the World Cup in 2010 will be hard but it should be possible for Ireland to come first

Giovanni Trapattoni

FAI chief executive John Delaney said O'Brien's financial offer was "a pivotal moment in the recruitment process because it enabled us to raise the bar even higher than intended".

O'Brien, who made his billions in mobile phones and media, has offered to cover half the cost of the new managerial team.

"I'm a great believer if you hire the right people you get the right results," said O'Brien.

Delaney added: "Everyone acknowledges the senior national team has not achieved to the extent that we would all like over the past five years but we're now entering a new era with a manager whose record is among the most successful in Europe.

"He's widely acknowledged as one of the most outstanding and successful coaches in the modern game."

Trapattoni has vowed to lead the Republic to the 2010 World Cup finals and is confident they can finish top of a group which also includes his countrymen.

Italy will be at home to the Republic on April Fool's Day in 2009 with the return game taking place at Croke Park six months later on 10 October.

"Ireland are not a second-rate team, they are supposed to be a first-rate team," insisted Trapattoni, who managed Italy from 2000 to 2004.


"Qualifying for the World Cup in 2010 will be hard, and playing against the Italian team will make me proud, but it should be possible for Ireland to come first."

Former Italy defender Claudio Gentile was also expected to be part of the backroom staff.

But the 54-year-old, who played alongside Brady under Trapattoni, and was Italy Under-21 boss during his mentor's reign as national coach, has declined the offer.

Brady, 52, who won 72 caps for the Republic, encouraged Trapattoni to take the position and the appointment ends a lengthy search, which followed Steve Staunton's departure from the job in October.

A number of names were linked to the post and former England coach Terry Venables was the long-time favourite before losing out to Trapattoni.

The veteran Italian coach won six Serie A titles with Juventus and one with Inter Milan. He also led Bayern Munich, Benfica and Salzburg to league titles.

We believe 100% that this is the man to take this team forward - you can't fault his credentials

Selection panel member Ray Houghton

His European honours include the European Cup, three UEFA Cups and a Cup Winners' Cup triumph during his spells at Juventus and Inter.

Former Ireland midfielder Ray Houghton, who was on the three-man selection panel, said: "It went on longer than we hoped but time wasn't an issue.

"We were putting our heads on the line and knew it would reflect on us in time if it wasn't a success.

"But we believe 100% that this is the man to take this team forward - you can't fault his credentials.

"People might question his age but he is someone who runs everyday with the team, he trains with the team - his fitness is not in question.

"He's got an unbelievable passion for the game, which is exactly like Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.

"He wants to take the team forward for 2010, he believes in the players here. He's really up for the campaign ahead."

see also
Trapattoni's test
13 Feb 08 |  Internationals
Trapattoni to have Republic talks
10 Feb 08 |  Internationals
Carsley wants Irish boss urgency
07 Feb 08 |  Internationals
Republic may face Trapattoni wait
04 Feb 08 |  Internationals
Jewell 'rules out' Republic job
23 Nov 07 |  Internationals
Venables open to Republic offer
02 Dec 07 |  Internationals
Staunton leaves Republic boss job
24 Oct 07 |  Internationals

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