Trapattoni up for Euro 2012

PA Sport
Giovanni Trapattoni

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Giovanni Trapattoni

Giovanni Trapattoni cannot wait to take the Republic of Ireland to Euro 2012 next summer.

Not even the prospect of landing a group including world and reigning European champions Spain, plus his native Italy and a dangerous Croatia side following Friday night's group stage draw in Kiev could dampen his enthusiasm.

"I really love my job and it will give me huge satisfaction to take Ireland to a Finals," he said.

"It shows that when you are really well organised and have real self-belief you can do it, even with smaller countries.

"Everybody on the Irish team is looking forward to bringing our football and our style to the tournament.

"For me it is not about what I have done in the past, and I have done a lot, but about what the future will bring."

Trapattoni had already admitted he did not want to play Italy, the team he managed at the 2002 World Cup and European Championships in Portugal two years later.

Quite aside from the build-up to a game that obviously means more than most, and having to change some pre-tournament training plans, the 72-year-old feared the threat posed by a resurgent Azzurri, who are once again punching their hefty weight on the international stage after a period in the doldrums.

But now he knows he will, in Poznan - the final game in a group that opens with a clash against Croatia before the little matter of a trip to Gdansk on June 14 for a meeting with a Spain side looking to create history by becoming the first side to win three international tournaments on the trot.

"I wanted to avoid Italy because they are strong mentally and because we know each other," said Trapattoni. "We knew we had to face strong opponents and I hope we don't do ourselves harm and that we get to June 18 in a calm way."

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