Marco Tardelli tries to take credit for a lot of the positives in the current Irish team
Marco Tardelli took a lot out of Ireland during his five-year stay, including a reported salary of €400,000 a year.
And the Italian World Cup winner has now taken credit for a couple of Irish-related things in an interview with an Italian newspaper ahead of tomorrow’s Euro 2016 Group E game in Lille.
Asked about the match, Tardelli said he saw “hope” in the Irish camp.“I know them very well, we coached pretty much all of them,” Tardelli told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“I can tell you that they’re hopeful. They’re used to playing all of their games at 100 per cent, so they can’t imagine that anyone may approach a game differently.”
But Tardelli then went on to claim the credit for the emergence of two members of the starting XI in the two Ireland games to date.
“James McCarthy had a Scottish and Irish passport. I went to speak with him to see if he could play with us. I don’t know if I was the one who convinced him, I certainly made it very clear to him just how badly we needed him,” said Tardelli.
His claim will be news to FAI people like Sean McCaffrey and Noel King, who played a role in keeping McCarthy in the Ireland camp at various stages when the player’s native Scotland were sniffing.
“As for Jeff Hendrick, we picked him up at Derby County, in the Championship. I was there to see a central defender, but I was struck by him,” Tardelli added.
"He's what you'd call a player of the past, but the truth is a bit different. He is modern in ways that aren't immediately perceived, but they emerge when you really need them. I offered him to some Italian teams, but maybe he wasn't expensive enough."
The fact that Hendrick had played under Paul Doolin in the Under-19 European Championship semi-finals and had won six Under-21 caps by the time he was picked for the senior team for the first time by ex-boss Trapattoni appears to have escaped Tardelli’s interest.