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Trapattoni claims Irish people more passionate about rugby than soccer

The former Ireland manager expressed his views in a column for Gazzetto dello Sport.

Trapattoni stepped down as Ireland coach last year after the side failed to qualify for the World Cup.
Trapattoni stepped down as Ireland coach last year after the side failed to qualify for the World Cup.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

EX-IRELAND MANAGER Giovanni Trapattoni has claimed Irish people are more passionate about rugby than soccer.

In a column for Italian publication Gazzetto dello Sport ahead of the start of the Giro d’Italia, Trapattoni wrote: ”The Irish are a hugely proud nation and very, very passionate — although the passion is more evident in rugby than in football.

“When I lived there I went to see two or three rugby matches and I was struck by the good behaviour and expertise of the spectators, and the sense of belonging to that world and the 15 players wearing the green jersey.

“Then, when Ireland play England, it’s as if the players and spectators alike are going into war — but a gentlemanly war.”

The veteran coach, who oversaw Ireland’s qualification for Euro 2012 despite being widely criticised for the negative style of football he implemented, added that he “always” used an interpreter to avoid misunderstandings with the media, adding that when Irish people mutter, it’s “impossible to understand them”.

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Paul Fennessy

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