Irish manager Giovanni TrapattoniGoogle images

Giovanni Trapattoni’s status in the world game is already having an effect on the European Championship draw – Ireland are the fourth seeds Ukraine want to avoid.

Manager Oleg Blokhin and striker Andriy Voronin have put Russia on top of their Euro 2012 wish list and both want to avoid the boys in green.

Trapattoni’s reputation as Europe’s most successful manager has superseded Ireland’s standing as the lowest ranked of all the qualifiers for Friday night’s draw.

The Irish will be joined in Pot Four at Kiev’s Palace of the Arts by France, Denmark and the Czech Republic - with all three preferable to the locals.

Ukraine boss Blokhin declared: “Giovanni Trapattoni is one of the most respected managers in the world game.

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“He is well known and liked in the world of football and it is no different in the Ukraine. We know him as a great manager and we will respect his team.”

Former Liverpool striker Voronin wants Russia but not the Irish team who finished second to them in the qualifiers.

“Ireland will be dangerous, they will have to be respected,” said Voronin who is looking for a spicy local derby to be thrown up in the draw.

“Personally, I want to play Russia. It would be a big, big game for everyone in the Ukraine as hosts and the emotion of it all would be an advantage for us.”

Local organisers are also keen to make an impression on Trapattoni when he flies into Kiev on Thursday.

Well aware that they have fallen behind fellow co-hosts Poland in the PR department, the Ukrainians want to assure Trapattoni that his team should have no fear about playing here.

“I think that in this difficult time the country has done everything possible to prepare for the

Championship to the best of its ability,” said Andriy Shevchenko who will fly back from Europa League action against Stoke with Dynamo Kiev to attend the draw.

“And I think many more will be done in order to demonstrate the beauty of our country both to ordinary fans and participants of the competition.”

Local organising committee spokeswoman Anna Dobro insisted there would be no need for Ireland to follow England’s example and base themselves in Poland even if they are drawn to play in the Ukraine.

“I can assure everyone that the training camp facilities in the Ukraine will be first class, we have already sent the association a list of 20 potential bases for them,” said Dobko.

“Everything here will be ready for the teams and for the fans, we have caught up with Poland.

“We have the four stadiums finished, the transport works are almost complete and we are confident there will be enough accommodation for everyone.

“If Ireland plays here they will be very welcome and they will have fun. We can promise them that.”

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