Irish manager Giovanni Trapattoni has decided to stick with the Republic of Ireland and is not tempted by a possible return to Inter Milan now that Jose Mourinho has left for pastures new at Real Madrid
The Italian manager led the Neazzuri to a Serie A title and a UEFA Cup in his five years at the club between 1986-1991, but the 71-year-old, who has been courted by several clubs and countries (including Juventus) in recent times, says his future is Emerald green.
"I won’t be going to Inter or back to Italy," he said.
“I have had opportunities to go back to Italy over the last few months, but I am satisfied with my job with Ireland.
“I think we have a good team and it is one that has room to improve, so I want to stay as manager with Ireland.”
No doubt this news is great for Irish fans and the continuity of the Irish soccer team, but Trap is far too wise to accept the poisoned chalice that is the top job at Inter.
How can anyone succeed Mourinho at Inter right now? “The Special One” just won the treble – Serie A , Coppa Italia and Champions League- a feat never completed by an Italian squad before this year.
How can anyone top that? Maicon, the attacking right full back, wants to join his old boss at Madrid, and striker Diego Milito is very open-minded as to where he will ply his trade next year.
It’s like when legendary Kerry GAA football manager Mick O’Dwyer stood down after leading the Kingdom to unprecedented success. Mickey Ned O’Sullivan took the thankless task to taking over and rebuilding the team, and that was no easy task in a county so used to success.
Same applies to Inter Milan. Trapattoni knows this only too well.
Roberto Donadoni almost destroyed his managerial career when he took over from Marcello Lippi after Italy won the World Cup in 2006, so there are examples in every sport.
The wily veteran manager knows he has a challenge to get Ireland to the Euro 2012 Championship and that, it would seem, is enough to motivate him to stay.
The annual salary of $2 million also softens the desire for the daily grind of club football and the intense scrutiny of the Italian media.
Speaking of preparation for Euro 2012, Trapattoni announced his starting eleven for his final summer friendly against Algeria in Dublin on Friday night, with Greg Cunningham of Manchester City to make his first start for the national team.
The Republic of Ireland team to face Algeria is:
Westwood; Kelly, O’Shea, St Ledger, Cunningham; Lawrence, Green, Whelan, Duff; Keane, Doyle