|The Irish FA have placed their faith in the Italian coach after he guided the Republic’s place at Euro 2012 following qualification play-off victory over Estonia [GALLO/GETTY]|
After guiding Ireland to their first major tournament in a decade, Giovanni Trapattoni has had his contract as coach extended by two years on Tuesday – taking him through to the 2014 World Cup.
The Football Association of Ireland handed the deal to the veteran Italian coach and his assistants after he led the team into next year’s European Championship.
“They have done fantastic work with the squad, bringing us to qualification for a major tournament for the first time in 10 years, increasing our world ranking to 21st and introducing many new players for the future,” FAI Chief Executive John Delaney said.
“Giovanni’s experience, professionalism and achievement in qualifying for Euro 2012 has impressed everyone including the players and the FAI Board.”
Led by Trapattoni and assistants Marco Tardelli and Fausto Rossi, Ireland finished second in their European Championship qualifying group and beat Estonia in a two-leg playoff to reach a first tournament since they made the 2002 World Cup.
“I am very happy to continue my job with the FAI,” Trapattoni said.
“I have always said that Marco and I believe very strongly in the work that we are doing to grow and develop the Irish team. It is a huge honour and a privilege to represent the Irish team and we look forward to continuing this important task.”
The 72-year-old former Italy coach took over Ireland in 2008 with the team at a low ebb following failure to reach that year’s European Championship and the subsequent dismissal of Steve Staunton.
Trapattoni, who established his reputation by winning all three European club trophies with Juventus before success with Inter Milan, Bayern Munich, Benfica and Salzburg, led Ireland through their 2010 World Cup qualifying group unbeaten and missed out on a place at the tournament only following Thierry Henry’s infamous handball helped France win a playoff.
“He brings a wealth of experience,” FAI President Paddy McCaul said.
“The fact that we have gone into the last two campaigns as third seeds and have finished second in both … speaks volumes about his ability to deliver.”