Giovanni Trapattoni believes he can lead Ireland to the Brazil World Cup finals in 2014 despite landing Germany in the draw.
The FAI are laughing all the way to the bank with a $10million bonanza TV deal on the way after drawing the Germans, Sweden, Austria, Brian Kerr’s Faroe Islands and Kazakhstan in Group C.
FAI chiefs have yet to open talks on a new deal with Trapattoni but he was adamant after Saturday night’s draw that he is the man to lead Ireland to the home of Samba Soccer.
Trapattoni said: “I think Germany are very strong. We know that, but I think this group for us, is good enough. I think teams like Faroe Islands, Kazakhstan, Sweden are similar to us.
“At this moment, we can dream, we can think about our success.
“With all these teams we know we’re their equals in every success. We know there’s an exception in Germany.
“Germany and Austria are very similar to us in their make up and style, and mentality – possibly Germany a little less so, because they have more creative players.
“But most of the teams are very similar and we’d hope to be able to compete against them.
Trap is well regarded in Germany after his time at Bayern Munich and believes that could work in Ireland’s favour.
He added: “They will certainly be aware of me. They won’t be wary, but they will be very cautious about the draw.
“They won’t be afraid, but they know the type of squad we have, that I can get the max out of the players.
“The fact they’ll be playing against a Trapattoni Ireland will add to them – it will give them an added stimulus. It’s also very important for us, because we’ll want to impose ourselves and get results.”
The German game represents a television windfall for the FAI, represented at the Rio draw by chief executive John Delaney and President Paddy McCaul.
Delaney was upbeat following the draw. He said: “I think we’re very pleased.
“Germany have got to be favourites to win the group but you wouldn’t concede it. The last time we played them over two legs it was close.
“Germany are a great team to play in the Aviva Stadium financially, with the television and advertising rights but our main aim is to qualify for the World Cup.
“I’ve spoken to Giovanni, he’s pleased. He’s managed in Germany and Austria so has a connection to both those countries.”
The FAI and Delaney will welcome the German TV revenue but qualification for a first World Cup finals since 2002 remains the priority.
“For us the main aim is to get out of the group, come here to Brazil and have the Irish supporters here with us,” said Delaney.
“We’ve beaten the Faroes before, Kazakhstan is a long trip but that’s the draw. Austria is very central and Sweden too. The sooner we can get the dates agreed the better.”
Germany’s general manager Oliver Bierhoff acknowledged the double threat posed by Ireland and manager Trapattoni.
“It’ll be an interesting experience for our players,” said Bierhoff.
“They are a team that play very intensively and can make life very hard for you - but I prefer to play in this kind of atmosphere rather than against smaller teams.
“Trapattoni of course will know the German players - but Sweden and Ireland are both beatable.”
No Irish Need Apply? Not anymore