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Dublin: 7°C Sunday 29 November 2020

Deja vu: here are 5 other controversial decisions that Trap's made in his career

Snubbing James McClean is by no means Trap’s first unpopular decision as a manager.

Trapattoni has a history of making controversial decisions.
Trapattoni has a history of making controversial decisions.

IN CASE YOU haven’t heard, Trapattoni made the less-than-popular decision to leave James McClean out of the latest Ireland squad today.

And while this move caused some surprise among football aficionados, in addition to drawing criticism from fans, it is not the first time that Trap has invited controversy. Here are five other examples:

Selling Liam Brady

Juventus may have won the Serie A title in the 1981/82 season, but their success was not enough to dissuade the Italian manager from selling Brady in order to accommodate new signing Michele Platini. This decision was relatively controversial at the time, particularly after Brady scored the penalty that won them the Championship, despite knowing he was to be sold. However, the decision ultimately proved successful, as Platini went on to enjoy a hugely distinguished career with the Turin club.

YouTube credit: footoldies

Turning on his team during a press conference while managing Bayern Munich

In 1998, during his time as manager of Bayern Munich, an embattled Trapattoni had a near-meltdown at a press conference in which he turned on his team, suggesting that “these players were weak like an empty bottle”. Meanwhile, one Bayern Munich player, in particular, seemed to provoke his ire: ”Strunz! Strunz is two years here and has played ten games. He is always injured.” Unsurprisingly, Trapattoni left the club shortly thereafter.

YouTube credit: woschinski

Accusing FIFA of fixing the 2002 World Cup

With Trapattoni as manager, Italy exited the 2002 World Cup under controversial circumstances. They had a goal wrongly ruled out for offside, while Francesco Totti was also controversially sent off. And Trap deemed the referee’s performance so poor that he put forward the theory that the FIFA had fixed the game, so the hosts would progress. Interestingly, in 2010, the referee in question, Byron Moreno, was arrested after being caught at John F. Kennedy Airport with bags of heroin attached to his body. The incident prompted Trap to quip: “Now maybe Trapattoni’s reign on Italy’s bench will be read under a different light.”

You can view the video of the infamous game here.

Imposing ultra-defensive tactics while managing Italy

While Trap may have gained sympathy following the 2002 World Cup, owing to the controversial circumstances surrounding their exit, the Italian press were far less forgiving after their Euro 2004 failure. They were knocked out, having drawn all three of their games, and Trap’s negative tactics were singled out for criticism (sound familiar?). One journalist called his style of play “inbred, maddening and defensive,” before attacking the “mad manager who swore, rolled his eyes, attacked people and objects. The whole world witnessed his memorable fit of nerves.”

YouTube credit: EveryFourthYear

Resigning as manager of Benfica after one season, despite winning the title there

After taking over as coach of Benfica in 2004, Trap had a relatively successful first season in charge at the club. Though they ultimately were defeated in the final of the Portuguese Cup, he still managed to guide them to the league title. However, he subsequently surprised everyone by announcing his decision to step down from the position, claiming he was homesick and wanted to live closer to his family in Italy.

YouTube credit: SoccerRepublic

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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