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He is Zlatan

zlatanA Ireland will open their Euro 2016 campaign against Sweden in the Stade de France on June 13. All eyes will be on their mercurial frontman, the main threat we must snuff out. Reposting from Póg Mo Goal magazine #1, He is Zlatan. Continue reading →

From Russia with a Point

dunne With the European Championship in France approaching ever faster, Adam Murphy takes a look back at one of the best individual performances seen in a green shirt in recent times. It didn’t come in a major tournament, however, rather a cold September evening in Moscow in the Euro 2012 qualifiers. Continue reading →

YBIG Football Show: Brian Carey & Mick Wallace

ybig crop More big games for Irish players in England after Stephen Quinn and David Meyler booked a place in the FA Cup final. On the YBIG Football Show this week, Dave O’Grady also spoke to former Ireland international Brian Carey, who’s currently the youth team coach at Blackburn Rovers and Wexford Youths supremo Mick Wallace T.D. Continue reading →

South Central: Americas Highlights

Untitled South America’s biggest club competition, the Copa Libertadores, never fails to entertain and there’s further highlights from around the region. In the best of the week’s action, Ronaldinho is showered with affection, and coins, Brazil’s champions are beaten, and there’s a belter from Mexico. Continue reading →

The League of Nations

james mcclean UEFA members have unanimously backed a move for a new Nations League tournament to replace international friendlies starting in 2018. Ireland are likely to face the likes of Croatia and Sweden but with the incentive of promotion to face the continent’s top sides. Continue reading →

Why the Republic Still Needs Robbie

robbie keane While Ireland still basks in the light of the Brian O’Driscoll love-in, his counterpart on the national football team doesn’t always enjoy 100% support. But when the history of the Irish game is written, Robbie Keane will rightly be spoken of in the same breath as our retired rugby icon. Keane still has a vital role to play in the Republic’s future fortunes. Only when he’s gone will we realise what we’ve missed. Continue reading →

Happy Birthday Ronaldinho

ronaldinho11 PORTO Alegre is known as “Cidade Sorriso” or Smile City. It’s appropriate then, that it should export the most famous buck-toothed grin in world football. An odyssey that traversed three of Europe’s most renowned cities came full circle when Ronaldo de Assis Moreira, better known as Ronadinho, returned to his homeland where his career has continued to glitter. He celebrates his 34th birthday this week. Continue reading →

That New Jack Magic

jack grealish While the Irish U21s crashed out of Euro qualification with this month’s defeat to Montenegro, one player lit up the Tallaght Stadium with his performance. Jack Grealish could be the Republic’s successor to Damien Duff, writes Dave O’Grady, host of the YBIG Football show. Continue reading →

Whelan in the Years, Keane Backs Glenn

glenn whelan Roy Keane described Glenn Whelan’s performance in Stoke’s win over Arsenal last weekend as ‘outstanding,’ and he would know. The player who came in for a lot of criticism during Giovanni Trapattoni’s reign could be set for a new lease of life under the guidance of Ireland’s former midfield general Continue reading →

PUMA Reveal More World Cup Kits

switz crop The World Cup gear is arriving thick and fast this week, and following the launch of Italy’s home and away shirts, comes PUMA’s unveiling of the Brazil 2014 kits for Cameroon, Ghana, Algeria, Switzerland, and Chile. The new jerseys will be worn for the first time in tonight’s series of international friendlies. Continue reading →

Carnival Atmosphere’s Unlikely to Last

carnival In the next of our Brazil Series, amid continuing anger ahead of the World Cup, the contrast couldn’t be greater between Carnival, now underway, and the summer’s festival of football. Revellers on the streets brought Brazil to a stand-still at the weekend. A repeat in June could spell a nightmare for FIFA and the image the tournament hosts want to convey to the watching world. Continue reading →

Taxi for McGeady: Everton’s Irish Story

peter farrell everton crop “He’s English on the outside, but, pure Irish on the inside.” The elderly woman in the ‘Western’ pub in Liverpool was referring to her grandson, Wayne Rooney. Most are Toffees in this part of Merseyside and Aiden McGeady’s arrival at Goodison Park to bolster the green contingent is a reminder that traditionally Everton were the Irish club in the city. The common football phrase “Taxi for” even owes its origins to a former Irish manager. Continue reading →

Ireland on Film: Glory Days Revisited

bill o'herlihy champagne The match action itself has been re-run many times. Now for your viewing pleasure, we’ve unearthed some lesser known footage of the television coverage surrounding Ireland’s remarkable early successes under Jack Charlton. Beginning with the official film of Euro 88, followed by ITV’s coverage of the game with England when Liam Brady reveled in putting Brian Clough straight. From there, we move onto the heady days of Italia 90 qualification through to the finals themselves when RTE’s pioneering coverage rewrote the manual on football punditry. Continue reading →

A New Era…10 Talking Points

oneill keane Two games into the reign of O’Neill/Keane and the shot in the arm to Irish soccer has been like an adrenaline rush following the tedium of Trap’s last days. A positive display against Latvia followed by more of the same in Poland before an element of tiredness set in has given everyone reason for optimism. If only we’d had this six months ago. Here’s ten talking points. Continue reading →

Pelé, the Nickname, and Jimmy Magee

pele b+w He was born Edson Arantes do Nascimento, but is known throughout the world simply as Pelé. The origin of the nickname given to the man who just celebrated his 73rd birthday is far from certain, but, as ever, an Irish footballing myth gained legs over the years. With a movie on his life now shooting in Brazil, could the story make it to the big screen? Continue reading →

Blunders Down Under: Brazil-Bound but Managerless

oz fans Ireland shipped six goals against Germany a year ago and former manager Giovanni Trapattoni never fully recovered. Spare a thought then for our Australian friends. They suffered two 6-0 defeats in succession and are also on the hunt for a new coach. And like the Irish with McCarthy, the Aussies are pining for an old flame. Except, the Socceroos will be in Brazil next summer, as Ian Kerr of football culture magazine, Thin White Line, writes. Continue reading →

Last Meeting: Cat’s Out of Kazakh

Untitled Ireland’s performance in Astana in the opening game on the road to Brazil set off alarm bells. A smash and grab raid at the death with a Robbie Keane penalty and a late show from substitute Kevin Doyle earned Giovanni Trapattoni a scarcely deserved victory. Ireland’s low morale and rudderless game-plan meant even the minnows knew how to trouble us. The cat was out of the bag. Continue reading →

Comedy Show but Who’s Laughing?

rte panel 2 It was a question posed by Bill O’Herlihy; was Friday’s defeat in Cologne as bad as the 6-1 loss in Dublin at the beginning of the campaign? Eamon Dunphy said it was worse. His colleagues Liam Brady and John Giles avoided giving a direct answer. And Noel King’s reaction to the RTE panel points to a disconnect that’s anything but funny. Continue reading →

Löw Lie the Fields of Athenry

Pic: Sean MacEntee With Ireland travelling to Germany for our penultimate qualifier, our minds are cast back to the 6-1 drubbing at home. The reaction of Friday’s hosts following the Aviva Stadium clash seemed to foresee the beginning of the end for the manager, and the growing unrest of the Irish fans. Continue reading →

View from the Other Side: Turbulence Ahead in Rhine Air

mesut ozil muslim 1 Aleix Gwilliam, co-editor of the English-language German-football website Bundesliga Fanatic, predicts a much different game between Ireland and Germany on Friday than the hammering in Dublin. Joachim Löw’s squad selection has not been without controversy but with qualification still to be secured, it could prove another long night on the banks of the Rhine for Noel King’s Ireland no matter what tactics he tries. Continue reading →