Sept. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Giovanni Trapattoni left as manager of Ireland’s national soccer team after a second straight defeat all but ended the squad’s hope of reaching the World Cup finals.
The departure of Trapattoni, 74, was “amicable,” John Delaney, head of the Football Association of Ireland, said in an interview with Newstalk radio in Ireland. His departure was “by mutual consent,” the FAI said.
Though Trappatoni led Ireland to the 2012 European Championship, the team lost all three games in the tournament. Ireland lost yesterday to Austria in Vienna in a World Cup qualification game, following a home defeat last week against Sweden.
Ireland is fourth in its qualifying group, where the top team automatically earns a place at the World Cup and the second-place team enters a playoff, with two matches remaining. The campaign to reach next year’s tournament in Brazil was “disappointing,” the FAI said.
Northern Ireland’s Martin O’Neill, former manager of Sunderland and Aston Villa in England, is the favorite to succeed Trapattoni, according to Dublin-based bookmaker Paddy Power Plc.
O’Neill’s odds are 4-5, meaning a successful $5 wager would bring $4 plus the original stake. Former Ireland manager Mick McCarthy is second favorite, at 8-1, followed by Brian McDermott, manager of Leeds in England, at 10-1 and Roy Keane, former Ireland player, at 14-1.
Trapattoni took over Ireland’s national soccer team in 2008, after Irish billionaire Denis O’Brien agreed to partially finance his salary.
Twice a European Cup winner as an AC Milan player, Trapattoni won 14 trophies during two spells at Juventus.
He brought the European Cup to Juventus in 1985, two years after losing in the final, and led it to six Serie A successes. He also won the UEFA Cup twice and the now-defunct Cup Winners’ Cup with the Turin-based club, among other trophies.
In between, he spent five years at Inter Milan where he achieved his other Serie A title in 1989, followed by a UEFA Cup win two years later.
Further league titles were achieved outside of Italy with Bayern Munich, Benfica and Salzburg, while he has also had spells at Cagliari, Fiorentina and Stuttgart.
His assistant, Marco Tardelli, has also left his job, the FAI said.
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