Thursday 18 January 2018

Rory McIlroy might be having a little bet on Northern Ireland winning Euro 2016

Northern Ireland fan Rory McIlroy
Northern Ireland fan Rory McIlroy

Jonny Bell

Rory McIlroy has called for Northern Ireland to make it the year of the underdog and emulate the success of Leicester City at this summer's European Championships.

The fantastic Foxes became the 'People's Champions' when nearest rivals Spurs could only draw at Chelsea on Monday making the title a certainty for the King Power Stadium.

Claudio Ranieri's side's success was all the more unlikely given that they narrowly avoided relegation last season and were considered more-likely candidates for the drop this term than finishing on top of the pile this May.

Northern Ireland, for their part, had their own fairytale qualification campaign for the European Championship finals by topping their qualification group.

They were the first team from pot five, of six, in a qualification draw to win a group.

Michael O'Neill's men face world champions Germany, Ukraine and Poland at the finals and - once again - it will be a big ask for the team to make it out of Group C and into the knock-out phase of the competition.

McIlroy pointed out that Northern Ireland were "only" 500-1 to win the championships compared to Leicester's 5000-1 starting odds last August.

Martin O'Neill's Ireland, meanwhile, are available at 125/1 with Paddy Power.

Belfast Telegraph

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