Ireland get Spain and Italy in tough draw
Published 02/12/2011 | 17:14
IRELAND drew World and European champions Spain, as well as Italy and Croatia in Group C of today’s Euro 2012 draw.
It’s a tough draw for Ireland, although fans will be relieved that they are based in Poland, rather than the Ukraine. Ireland wil face Spain, the glamour tie, in Gdansk.
England will be happy with their draw, though they face a new look and resurgent France. The Germans and Dutch will clash too.
Earlier Trapattoni had declared his wish to steer clear of Spain, Germany and England.
But he had warned that it will be difficult whatever happens, because his side are fourth seeds.
The Italian veteran also reiterated a desire to avoid world champions Spain from Pot 1 and both Germany and England from Pot 2.
He has also hinted that it would be dangerous to land host nations Poland or Ukraine, who are top seeds along with the Spanish and Holland.
"I got burned by this in 2002," he said, with reference to his Italian side's controversial World Cup exit at the hands of South Korea.
Ultimately, though, he conceded that a date with the Polish or the Ukrainians would be kinder than a joust with the all-conquering Spain side, who are also defending European champions.
Trapattoni was also wary of a highly charged encounter with England.
But he urged his players to have belief in Ireland’s prospects.
"It's 90 minutes of football and we have trust," he said. "It's just three games of 90 minutes and, with our mentality, there is no reason to have fear."
Trapattoni, who put pen to paper on a new contract earlier this week, shied away from a question which asked if Ireland could mirror the achievements of shock Euro 2004 winners Greece.
"It's a dream at the moment," he smiled.
"But in football, there is the moment when the wind takes you on the back and helps. It's not about the first three games, the team will be tired after the group."
The ful draw:
Republic of Ireland