COACH: Giovanni Trapattoni
WORLD RANKING: 18
QUALIFIED: Though playoffs
BEST EURO FINISH: First Round (1988)
PLAYING STYLE: Defensive
STRENGTHS: Defensive shape and discipline. Every player knows what his job is and they stick to it for 90 minutes.
WEAKNESSES: The focus on stopping the opposition scoring often means Ireland don’t create many chances at the other end.
Club: Aston Villa
The experience and amazing shot-stopping of Ireland’s most-capped player will be vital if they’re to pick up points in a tough group.
Ireland’s record goal-scorer is the one player capable of moments of magic to unlock the opposition defence.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND FACTS:
Population: 4.5 million
Official language: Irish/English
Best ever player: Liam Brady
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