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Given 'relishing' Ireland's EURO odyssey

Published: Wednesday 11 April 2012, 9.00CET
Shay Given says the Republic of Ireland cannot wait to play "against some of the best teams in the world" at UEFA EURO 2012, where they face Croatia, Italy and Spain in Group C.

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Published: Wednesday 11 April 2012, 9.00CET

Given 'relishing' Ireland's EURO odyssey

Shay Given says the Republic of Ireland cannot wait to play "against some of the best teams in the world" at UEFA EURO 2012, where they face Croatia, Italy and Spain in Group C.

The Republic of Ireland could be forgiven if they cursed their collective luck when they learned the identity of their opponents at UEFA EURO 2012. The draw for the final tournament, Ireland's first since the 2002 FIFA World Cup, was not kind to Giovanni Trapattoni's squad, pitting them against holders and world champions Spain as well as Italy and Croatia.

Difficult, certainly, but Ireland's Group C rivals should provoke excitement rather than fear, says Shay Given. "We've got to keep the belief that we've got a real chance of doing well," the goalkeeper told UEFA.com. "We're relishing going out there and playing against some of the best teams in the world. We do not fear them – we're just excited about the challenge ahead."

Qualification for a EURO for the first time in 24 years was a "huge lift" for the country according to the Aston Villa FC No1, Ireland's most capped player of all time. The 35-year-old's experience will be vital when Trapattoni's men begin their long-awaited campaign against Croatia in Poznan on 10 June.

For a full interview with Given view the video above.

Last updated: 26/10/12 14.36CET

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