A billion-to-one anatomic anomaly added to Pavel Nedved’s legendary make-up and made him a stand-out performer for Juventus and the Czech national team.
Ireland have met Latvia on four previous occasions with one Irish striker proving the scourge of the Baltic nation. John Aldridge scored eight times against the Latvians including a hat-trick at Lansdowne Road that sent Ireland on their way to World Cup qualification.
Some would say he was at the helm of Ireland for too long, with some ageing players, a direct style of play deemed no longer suitable for international football, and, with defeat in Austria, headed for the exit door. There are many parallels between Jack Charlton’s last days as Irish boss and the apparent imminent end of the Giovanni Trapattoni era. Vienna forms the back-drop to both.