Giovanni Trapattoni’s enthusiasm for the Republic of Ireland coach’s job was apparent on Friday as he spoke on the eve of their Dublin friendly against Serbia.
The 69-year-old former Juventus coach, who signed a two-year contract with the Football Association of Ireland in early March, said he expected to gain the same enjoyment as he has always had in his previous jobs.
Confident Trapattoni was hopeful of bringing the same success to Ireland as he has brought to clubs in Italy, Germany, Portugal and Austria, which would ensure the support of the Irish fans.
Trapattoni said: “The first moment as a coach or a player is like when you are just married, it is always happy. After one month or six months…That’s life. It is like a family.
“I am lucky. I was in Portugal and the Portuguese were happy with me; I was in Germany and there are some Germans in our hotel playing golf and they are happy; also in Austria or Florence or Turin or Milan.
“I am lucky at the moment that it is again like that. Now everybody seems to be happy – but we will see a couple of months down the line.”
However, what is certain is that Croke Park will be a sea of green on Saturday evening with 63,000 tickets having been sold by lunchtime on Friday for Trapattoni’s first international game.
Trapattoni will hand debuts to QPR full-back Damien Delaney and Stoke midfielder Glenn Whelan in a line-up which will also include skipper Robbie Keane and defender Richard Dunne after they linked up with the squad on their return from Portugal on Thursday.
Serbia coach Miroslav Djukic can choose from some of Europe’s top teams and despite the disappointment of not qualifying for Euro 2008, the form guide suggest the Serbs should be favourites.
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