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Evergreen Trapattoni happy to lay roots in Ireland

Published: Saturday 24 March 2012, 15.39CET
Giovanni Trapattoni will become the oldest coach to grace a UEFA European Championship this summer but the Republic of Ireland boss says the "new challenges" keep him young.

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Published: Saturday 24 March 2012, 15.39CET

Evergreen Trapattoni happy to lay roots in Ireland

Giovanni Trapattoni will become the oldest coach to grace a UEFA European Championship this summer but the Republic of Ireland boss says the "new challenges" keep him young.

Giovanni Trapattoni will become the oldest coach to grace the UEFA European Championship when he leads the Republic of Ireland against Croatia on 10 June, but he tells UEFA.com that the pleasure football gives him means he should be around for a while yet.

Trapattoni, 73, will be three decades older than Croatian counterpart Slaven Bilić for that Group C encounter, though in terms of passion and enthusiasm nothing divides them. The Italian spoke of his pride in "lifting a nation" after guiding Ireland to only their second EURO final tournament, 24 years after their first in 1988.

If not blessed with a Lionel Messi or a Cristiano Ronaldo, he has nonetheless moulded a cohesive team all of his own and after signing a new two-year deal in November, he hopes to steer them to the 2014 FIFA World Cup too. First up, however, is Poland and Ukraine.

Last updated: 26/10/12 14.29CET

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