Monday 21 August 2017

'I haven’t gotten over it' - Ireland World Cup hero still devastated at missing out on Inter Milan move

11 June 2002; Gary Breen, Republic of Ireland, celebrates with team-mate Robbie Keane after Breen had scored the second goal against Saudi Arabia. FIFA World Cup Finals, Group E, Republic of Ireland v Saudi Arabia, Yokohama Stadium, Yokohama, Japan. Cup2002. Soccer. Picture credit; David Maher / SPORTSFILE *EDI*
11 June 2002; Gary Breen, Republic of Ireland, celebrates with team-mate Robbie Keane after Breen had scored the second goal against Saudi Arabia. FIFA World Cup Finals, Group E, Republic of Ireland v Saudi Arabia, Yokohama Stadium, Yokohama, Japan. Cup2002. Soccer. Picture credit; David Maher / SPORTSFILE *EDI*
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Former Ireland defender Gary Breen has revealed how a dream move to Inter Milan was scuppered by an 'idiot' doctor and a failed medical.

Breen had an opportunity to go to the Serie A giants after the 2002 World Cup after entering the tournament without a club. However, a string of stellar performances, including a goal against Saudi Arabia in the group stages, caught the eye of Inter, with Breen agreeing a deal before Ireland's last 16 tie with Spain.

However, after the tournament, Breen travelled to Milan and subsequently failed a medical, which still annoys him to this day.

Speaking on Off The Ball on Newstalk this week, Breen voiced his frustrations with the Inter doctor over the whole sequence of events.

"Prior to the Spain Game, I had a agreed a deal with Inter," Breen said.

"When we got back to Dublin, I flew out to Milan. I had the medical, failed the medical, and I still haven’t gotten over it."

Breen was then asked by Joe Molloy what caused him to fail the medical.

"My knee apparently," he said.

"But essentially, the doctor was an idiot. You can check any footballer's knee and I’m sure you will find something. But listen, it was one of those things. You know that I’m bashful enough to know that it was a once in a lifetime thing. You were on a free-transfer, you just had a reasonably good World Cup, Inter Milan were getting loads of players in at the time.

"So in terms of having the opportunity to go and play, it would have been great. I was 28 years of age, it was the right time, it would have brilliant and I was so looking forward to it. And when it didn’t materialise, I struggled actually for a little bit after that. I just couldn’t get it out of my head but you know that’s life."

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