Trap sails through schoolboys' soccer quiz – now to qualify
HOW many goals have been scored in the Republic of Ireland's qualifying group so far? The answer '64' came tripping easily off the tongue of soccer boss Giovanni Trapattoni.
The questions being fired at Il Trap by two mini-quiz gurus – schoolboys Matthew Nolan (9) and Matthew Hanley (8) from St Oliver Plunkett School in Malahide, Dublin – took barely a puff out of the relaxed-looking Italian during a more unusual Q&A game.
Admittedly, the dapper translator may have been doing a little bit of prompting, as the Ireland manager sailed through tricky science queries and dived into his well of football knowledge for questions, including: 'Why did India withdraw from the 1950 World Cup?'
Amid a few grimaces and quizzically raised eyebrows, Trap responded: "They couldn't play without boots".
After enduring a few more tricky moments in front of the camera for mobile network Three's latest football video, the Ireland manager was taking it all in his stride.
It was a swift but welcome break from training ahead of the World Cup double-header against Sweden and Austria.
"It was nice to meet them," said Trapattoni after sitting down with the schoolboys. "They are good lads. I remember being young and looking to try to meet my heroes, and spending hours outside gates waiting for them to come out."
The manager told how the players had finished up their major training sessions yesterday to get ready for the match.
"At this moment, we recover again the energy for the performance," he said. "We are sure of our performance," he said, following a good training session in Malahide, Dublin. We can achieve the result."
Yet there are some questions that no team hopeful should ever have to answer prior to selection for a big match.
Under the spotlight, a thoughtful looking Malahide native, Conor Sammon (26), admitted answering one question might be a bit "dodgy".
As defender Richard Dunne and goalkeeper David Forde looked on, the toughest question came. "What year was Giovanni Trapattoni born in?"
He took a punt on it, opting for 1940. Alas, the correct answer was 1939.
"I wasn't sure what to expect from the questions so it was good fun," laughed Sammon.
For those willing to test their knowledge, you can log on to the Irish Independent website www.independent.ie today for an exclusive look at the quiz video from the Irish team sponsors.