Republic of Ireland national football team

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This article is about the men's team. For the women's team, see Republic of Ireland women's national football team.
Republic of Ireland
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) The Boys in Green
The Green Army
Association Football Association of Ireland (FAI)
Confederation UEFA (Europe)
Head coach Martin O'Neill [1]
Asst coach Roy Keane [1]
Captain Robbie Keane
Most caps Robbie Keane (136)
Top scorer Robbie Keane (62)
Home stadium Aviva Stadium
FIFA code IRL
FIFA ranking 62 Increase 4 (18 September 2014)
Highest FIFA ranking 6 (August 1993)
Lowest FIFA ranking 70 (June-July 2014)
Elo ranking 39
Highest Elo ranking 8 (April 2002, June 2002)
Lowest Elo ranking 67 (May 1972)
First colours
Second colours
First international
Irish Free State 1–0 Bulgaria
(Stade Colombes, France; 28 May 1924)
Biggest win
Republic of Ireland 8–0 Malta
(Dublin, Ireland; 16 November 1983)
Biggest defeat
Brazil 7–0 Republic of Ireland
(Uberlândia, Brazil; 27 May 1982)
World Cup
Appearances 3 (First in 1990)
Best result 8th, 1990
European Championship
Appearances 3 (First in 1964)
Best result Quater-finals, 1964
Summer Olympics
Appearances 2 (First in 1924)
Best result 5th, 1924

The Republic of Ireland national football team represents Ireland in association football. It is governed by the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) and plays its home fixtures at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

The team made its debut at the 1924 Summer Olympics, reaching the quarter-finals. Between 1924 and 1936, the team competed as the Irish Free State and from then until 1950, it was referred to by the FAI as Éire or Ireland. In 1953, FIFA decreed that for competitive matches in tournaments that both Irish teams may enter, the FAI team would be officially called the Republic of Ireland while the IFA team was to be named Northern Ireland.[2] Northern Ireland was allowed to use the title Ireland by FIFA in the Home International Competition until it was discontinued in 1984. Ireland was the first nation from outside the United Kingdom to defeat England at home at a fixture played at Goodison Park, Liverpool, in 1949. The team also reached the Quarter Final stage of the 1964 European Nations' Cup, where they lost to the eventual winners Spain.

Under the guidance of Jack Charlton, the team enjoyed its most successful era, reaching their highest FIFA ranking ever which was 6th in the world in August 1993, and qualifying for UEFA Euro 1988 in their first appearance at the UEFA European Championship, reaching the quarterfinals of the 1990 FIFA World Cup in their first ever appearance at the finals, and making the last 16 at the 1994 FIFA World Cup. Charlton's successor Mick McCarthy lost out on the next 2 major tournaments but ultimately qualified for the 2002 World Cup, making it to the last 16. Under Giovanni Trapattoni, the team narrowly lost out on qualification for the 2010 World Cup during a controversial play-off, but went on to qualify for UEFA Euro 2012.

The team failed to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil which marked the end of Giovanni Trapattoni's tenure as manager. Ireland also fell to a record low FIFA ranking of 59th. The team fell further to a new record low of 70th in June 2014.[3] For the next Euro qualifying campaign under manager Martin O'Neill, Ireland were drawn in the same qualifying group as Germany, Poland, Scotland, Georgia, and Gibraltar.

History[edit]

Irish Free State (1924-1936)[edit]

Between 1882 and 1924, Ireland was represented by a single national football team organised by the Belfast-based Irish Football Association (IFA). In 1920, Ireland was partitioned into Northern Ireland and the Irish Free State (the latter in turn becoming Éire or Ireland after adopting a new Constitution in 1937, followed by declaring itself a republic). Following the initial political upheavals surrounding Partition, a Dublin-based organisation calling itself the Football Association of the Irish Free State (FAIFS) split from the IFA in 1921 and began organising its own league and national football team.

In 1923, the FAIFS was recognised by FIFA as the governing body of the Irish Free State[4] and at the 1924 Summer Olympics, the Irish Free State made their international debut. On 28 May, at the Stade Olympique, they beat Bulgaria 1–0, with Paddy Duncan scoring the team's first ever goal. As a result of this they qualified for the quarter-finals.[5][6] On 14 June 1924, the Irish Free State made their home debut against the United States, who had embarked on a brief European tour after competing in the same Summer Olympics. Ed Brookes scored a hat-trick in a 3–1 home win at Dalymount Park.[7]

The Irish Free State did not play their next game until 21 March 1926. This was an away game against Italy which they lost 3–0. In subsequent years the status of the Olympic Games football competition was downgraded and as a result this game is widely regarded as the Irish Free State's first official game. On 25 February 1934, the Irish Free State made their FIFA World Cup debut, drawing 4–4 with Belgium at Dalymount Park in a 1934 FIFA World Cup qualifier. Paddy Moore scored all four of the Free State's goals and became the first player ever to score four goals in a FIFA World Cup game.

Ireland (1937-1952)[edit]

After 1936, they reverted to the designation "Football Association of Ireland" and began to refer to their team as Éire or "Ireland". During this whole period, there were two Irish international football teams, chosen by two rival Associations. Both Associations, the Northern Ireland – based IFA and the Irish Free State – based FAI claimed jurisdiction over the whole of Ireland and considered themselves entitled to select players from the whole island. At least thirty-eight dual internationals were selected to represent both teams,[8] however the overwhelming majority of these were Southerners who also agreed to play for the IFA team, with only a bare handful "crossing the border" in the other direction.

A 2–0 win over England at Goodison Park on 21 September 1949, was the first time England suffered a home defeat by a team outside the Home Countries of Scotland, Wales and the Ireland team run by the Belfast based Irish FA. FIFA eventually intervened when both teams entered 1950 FIFA World Cup qualification, the first time they had entered the same competition. Four players – Tom Aherne, Reg Ryan, Davy Walsh, Con Martin – actually played for the two different teams in the same FIFA World Cup tournament.[9] All four players concerned had been born in the Irish Free State and made their full international debut in FAI colours before agreeing to represent the IFA team. This may have alarmed the FAI, since they subsequently lobbied FIFA to prevent the IFA from picking Southern-born players (as well as attempting to exert pressure on the players themselves, sometimes through their clubs). FIFA's response was to restrict the eligibility of players on the basis of the (political) border, further ruling in 1953 that neither team could be referred to as Ireland in competitions which both teams were eligible to enter i.e. initially the FIFA World Cup and subsequently the European Nations Cup (now the UEFA European Football Championship). FIFA decreed that the FAI team officially be called the Republic of Ireland while the IFA team was to be named Northern Ireland.[10]

Republic of Ireland (1953–1968)[edit]

In 1953, FIFA renamed the team from "Ireland" to "Republic of Ireland". The 1958 FIFA World Cup qualifiers saw the Republic of Ireland drawn with England. In their home game against England, Alf Ringstead put the hosts 1–0 up before John Atyeo equalised in the last minute to salvage a 1–1 draw for England. Under the rules of the day, a win for the Republic of Ireland would have meant a play-off with England for a place in the FIFA World Cup.

After reaching the quarter-finals of the 1964 European Nations' Cup, the Republic of Ireland were drawn to face Spain and Syria in 1966 FIFA World Cup qualification. Despite Syria's withdrawal, this was still considered a qualifying group with the Irish winning 1–0 at home and losing 4–1 away. This meant a play-off at the Parc des Princes in Paris, which Spain won 1-0[11] Eamon Dunphy made his Ireland début in this game.[11] The play-off was originally scheduled to take place at Wembley Stadium in London, home to a large Irish diaspora, but the FAI agreed with the Spanish FA to have the match moved to Paris, where a large Spanish diaspora lived.[12] The FAI was criticised for this move to boost revenue from gate receipts.[11]

Wilderness (1969-1985)[edit]

In 1969 the FAI appointed Mick Meagan as the first permanent manager of the national side. His two years in charge were marked by exceptionally poor results however, with the team losing 5 out of 6 matches and gaining just one point in their 1970 FIFA World Cup qualification, and doing no better in the UEFA Euro 1972 qualifiers, leading to his dismissal. His replacement, Liam Tuohy did a somewhat better in the 1974 FIFA World Cup qualification, and more importantly oversaw major improvements to the national team's training facilities and persuaded many English club sides to end their policies of not releasing Irish players for international games during the domestic season. Ultimately however, the team still failed to qualify for the World Cup, and Tuohy resigned following a dispute over his wages. Johnny Giles became the side's first player-manager in the 1970s. This was followed by the debut of a young Liam Brady and results improved markedly. The side missed out on the 1978 FIFA World Cup by two points, having defeated France at home during qualification. After a less than impressive performance at the UEFA Euro 1980 qualifying, in which the team finished well behind group winners England and even Northern Ireland, Giles resigned, saying that he had taken the national side as far as he could.

Eoin Hand took over as manager for the 1982 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, and once more the Republic of Ireland narrowly missed out on qualification, this time on goal difference behind France who they had defeated at home once more. Disappointing qualifying campaigns for both the 1984 European Championship and 1986 FIFA World Cup followed, ending Hand's time in charge.

The Charlton years (1986–1995)[edit]

In 1986, the Republic of Ireland appointed Jack Charlton, a top rated English manager who had been part of England's World Cup winning side of 1966. During the 1970s, he had developed Middlesbrough into a side which provided many players to the dominant Liverpool team of the time.

After taking charge of the Republic of Ireland, Charlton influenced changes in the national side which resulted in arguably the most successful period of its history, winning the Iceland Triangular Tournament by defeating Iceland and Czechoslovakia in May 1986[13] and qualifying for two FIFA World Cups and a European Championship.[14]

Ireland's first appearance at a major finals tournament came in UEFA Euro 1988, with qualification being secured through Gary Mackay's famous goal in Sofia that meant Scotland beat Bulgaria 1–0 and left Ireland on top of the group. In the finals in West Germany, Ireland beat England 1–0 in Stuttgart with a header from Ray Houghton, drew 1–1 with the Soviet Union in Hannover, with Ronnie Whelan the scorer, and lost to the Netherlands 1–0 in Gelsenkirchen, coming within 8 minutes of a draw that would have meant a semi-final place.

The Republic of Ireland's longest competitive winning streak was achieved in 1989 during the 1990 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign. Five games against Spain, Northern Ireland, Hungary and Malta twice, were all wins for the Irish. Subsequently the side made it to the 1990 FIFA World Cup (Italia '90). Three draws in the group stage against England, Egypt and the Netherlands was enough to make the knockout stage. Virtually the whole country watched as they beat Romania on penalties with Packie Bonner making a vital save and David O'Leary scoring the decisive spot-kick. Ireland were then beaten 1–0 by Italy in the quarter final in the Olympic Stadium, Rome. During the tournament the team had an audience with Pope John Paul II, and were the only team to do so.[15]

After missing out on UEFA Euro 1992 (despite being unbeaten in qualifying), the Republic of Ireland qualified for the 1994 FIFA World Cup (USA '94). The side beat an opponent from the last FIFA World Cup, Italy, in their opening game; they made it to the second round, eventually losing 2–0 to the Netherlands. In 1996, Ireland finished second behind Portugal in UEFA Euro 1996 qualifying Group 6 but narrowly missed out on UEFA Euro 1996 after losing by a score of 2–0 a play-off at Anfield between the two worst group runners-up to the Netherlands, the other worst runner-up, with Patrick Kluivert scoring both goals to send his team through.[11] It was Jack Charlton's final game as manager.[11]

Some success (1996–2002)[edit]

Charlton was replaced by Mick McCarthy but Ireland still missed out on the next two major tournaments. Ireland just managed to finish second to Romania in their 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign after Tony Cascarino scored a late goal to win the away match with Lithuania.[11] A play-off with Belgium followed, with the match at Lansdowne Road finishing in a 1–1 draw, the match in Belgium finishing 2–1 to the home team and substitute David Connolly being sent off in the latter, preventing Ireland from progressing to the 1998 FIFA World Cup.[11] FIFA awarded the FIFA Fair Play Award for 1997 to the Irish supporters "for their exemplary behaviour at Ireland team matches, especially the FIFA World Cup qualifying play-offs against Belgium".[16] Ireland's opponents in UEFA Euro 2000 qualifying Group 8 were Yugoslavia, Croatia, Malta and Macedonia.[11] Macedonia scored a last-minute equaliser that denied Ireland top spot in the group, instead they faced Turkey in a play-off to decide which team would participate in UEFA Euro 2000.[11] The match in Dublin finished in a 1–1 draw and, after a logistical nightmare which saw Ireland traipse across Europe to Bursa, Turkey qualified with the away goal after a 0–0 draw at the end of which Tony Cascarino became involved in a fight and retired from international football.[11]

Ireland took on both Portugal and the Netherlands in 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification – UEFA Group 2 and ended the group in second place with 24 points from ten matches; seven victories and three draws.[11] Despite this unbeaten run, Ireland were drawn in a play-off with Iran. The match in Dublin finished in a 2–0 victory to Ireland with goals from Ian Harte (penalty) and Robbie Keane, while the match in Tehran, played in front of 100,000 spectators, finished in a 1–0 for Iran, not enough to send them through.[11] So McCarthy did manage to lead Ireland to the 2002 FIFA World Cup (Korea/Japan '02), only for the team to lose inspirational captain Roy Keane due to the pair's infamous public spat in Saipan.[17] 1–1 draws with Cameroon and Germany were followed by a 3–0 victory over Saudi Arabia in Group E.[18][19][20] The Irish once again progressed to the knockout stage, only losing narrowly 3–2 on penalties to Spain in Suwon after Robbie Keane's last minute equalising penalty kick forced the game into extra-time.[21]

Decline (2003–2007)[edit]

After a poor start to qualifying for UEFA Euro 2004, McCarthy was replaced by Brian Kerr but he also struggled to guide the side to the tournament or the following 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany and was sacked in October 2005.[22][23] Kerr was replaced by Steve Staunton (assisted by Bobby Robson in the position of "international football consultant") in January 2006.[24] Under Staunton, results varied widely but the team still failed to qualify for UEFA Euro 2008 and Staunton lost the position in October 2007.[25] His reign included a humiliating 5–2 defeat to Cyprus during UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying Group D, one of the worst defeats in the team's history.[26]

The Trapattoni years (2008–2013)[edit]

Giovanni Trapattoni was appointed manager in February 2008 following a spell with assistant coach Don Givens in charge.[27] Trapattoni went through all ten first round 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying games unbeaten, winning four of the ten games.[28] Ireland lost out on a place in the 2010 FIFA World Cup after a controversial narrow loss to France in the play-offs. Ireland went down 0–1 in the first leg, and lost 2–1 on aggregate, with William Gallas scoring a controversial goal in extra time in the second leg after Thierry Henry had handled the ball before crossing for Gallas to score.[29] This followed another controversy over FIFA's last-minute decision to seed the play-off draw.[30]

In 2011, Ireland hosted and won the inaugural Nations Cup with wins against Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland without conceding a goal.[31]

In their Euro 2012 qualifying group Ireland finished second, losing only the home fixture against Russia. They thus reached the play-offs and were drawn against Estonia, whom they beat 5–1 on aggregate. UEFA Euro 2012 was Ireland's first major tournament since 2002, but in Group C they lost all three matches, against Croatia, Spain and Italy. UEFA announced a special award for the fans of the Irish team, who notably sang in the last few minutes against Spain, despite trailing 4-0.[32]

Ireland were drawn in 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification – UEFA Group C alongside Germany, Sweden, Austria, Faroe Islands and Kazakhstan.[33] On 12 October, Ireland suffered their largest ever competitive home defeat, 6-1 against Germany in the Aviva Stadium.

Ireland lost against Sweden and Austria in early September 2013, effectively ending the 2014 World Cup qualification campaign, and Giovanni Trapattoni resigned as team manager the following day.[34]

Noel King was appointed interim senior manager on 23 September 2013 following the resignation of Giovanni Trapattoni.

On 5 November 2013, the Football Association of Ireland announced that Martin O'Neill would be Trapattoni's replacement as manager, with former team captain Roy Keane as his assistant. They assumed their roles when the team met on 11 November were they won against Latvia 3-0 and drew against Poland 0-0 .[1]

Recent history (2014–present)[edit]

Under new management Ireland have been drawn with Germany, Poland, Scotland, Georgia and Gibraltar as Ireland look to qualify for UEFA Euro 2016 in France. Ireland will play Gibraltar for the first time and play Germany for the second consecutive qualifying campaign.

Team image[edit]

Kit[edit]

Ireland players (L-R) Robbie Keane, Liam Lawrence, Keith Andrews and Greg Cunningham in a 2010 friendly against Algeria

Traditionally, the team has played in a home strip of green shirt, white shorts, and green socks. The second strip is usually the reverse of these colours, although there have been exceptions, such as an orange shirt in the late 1980s. Squad numbers are either white with an orange trim, on the home shirts, or green with an orange trim. The FAI logo appears at the bottom of the numbering.

A limited edition grey shirt was used just once, in a match against Wales on 17 November 2007.[35] A black jersey with a green stripe across the chest was worn in the final game of the 2011 Nations Cup against Scotland and in a friendly against Italy in Liège in Belgium.[36][37]

The current kit has been supplied by Umbro since 1994. In March 2009, Umbro signed a deal with the FAI to keep them as kit suppliers to the team until 2020.[38]

Historical kits[edit]

Home

Classic
1978–83
1983–84
1984–85
1985
1990
1994
1998
2002
2004
2006
2012

Away

1990
1994
2010
2012
2013

Home stadium and other venues[edit]

Main articles: Lansdowne Road and Aviva Stadium
Ireland versus Argentina at the Aviva Stadium on 11 August 2010

Since the 1980s, most home matches have been played at Lansdowne Road, Dublin, the national rugby stadium owned by the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU). The ground was closed for redevelopment in 2007, with the replacement ground, the Aviva Stadium, opening on 14 May 2010.The first soccer match in the Aviva was Manchester United against a League of Ireland XI side, managed by Damien Richardson, on 4 August 2010.[43] Manchester United won the game 7–1, with Park Ji-Sung scoring the first ever goal in the Aviva Stadium.[39] Aviva Stadium is jointly owned by the IRFU and FAI, although it will return to solely IRFU ownership on expiry of the current 60 year lease.[40] The first football international played at Lansdowne Road was a friendly against Italy in 1971; a 5–0 victory over San Marino in a UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying Group D match on 15 November 2006 was the last game there before the reconstruction.[41] The all-seater capacity of Lansdowne Road prior to the renovation was 36,000, although higher attendances, using the standing only areas, were permitted for friendly matches. The Aviva Stadium's status as an all-seater increased capacity for competitive games to 51,700. The opening game at the Aviva Stadium, a controversial 1–0 friendly defeat to Argentina, was noted for Robbie Keane securing his membership in the FIFA Century Club and manager Giovanni Trapattoni's absence due to surgery, with assistant manager Marco Tardelli taking charge.[42][43]

Main article: Croke Park
Croke Park, the headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association, has been used for Irish matches.

With the announcement of the rebuilding of Lansdowne Road, a new venue was required to stage the Republic of Ireland's home internationals. The only stadium in Ireland deemed suitable to stage international football was the 84,500 capacity Croke Park, home of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). To accommodate this, the GAA temporarily relaxed its rule governing the playing of "foreign" games on its property. Initially, four UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying Group D matches were played at Croke Park in 2007, resulting in two wins and two draws.[44] The GAA initially agreed to allow the FAI use until the end of 2008, and later extended the permission until the completion of Aviva Stadium. The Hill 16 end of Croke Park is a terrace, which means like Lansdowne Road before it, the capacity of the stadium was reduced to around 74,500 for competitive matches as temporary seating must be used.

Prior to the 1980s, the Republic of Ireland played most home games at Dalymount Park, home of Bohemians, but progressively more games were played at Lansdowne Road following a safety review which reduced Dalymount's capacity. The last international match played there was against Morocco in 1990. The Republic of Ireland have also played home matches in Tolka Park (twice) and the RDS Arena in Dublin as well at the Mardyke and Flower Lodge grounds in Cork. These games in Cork were, until 2009, the only two home Irish internationals played outside of Dublin. During the construction of the Aviva Stadium, two friendly games were played in Thomond Park, Limerick, in 2009.[45][46] Two further friendlies were played in the RDS Arena in May 2010.[47][48]

Media coverage[edit]

Ireland matches are broadcast by Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ), Sky Sports, and Setanta Ireland. Sky Sports shows most of Irelands friendly matches, while RTE shows competitive games such as World Cup and European Championship qualifiers.[49][not in citation given] RTÉ briefly lost its broadcast rights in 2002 when the FAI controversially sold them in a multi-million deal to Sky Sports, a subscription based satellite channel.[50] The decision was criticised by fans and politicians,[51][52] and the Consumers' Association of Ireland (CAI) described the FAI as "greedy".[53] The FAI was eventually forced to reverse its decision and to allow RTÉ to continue its broadcasts after the government intervened to stop the sale of important Irish sporting events to non-terrestrial television broadcasters.[54] RTÉ will hold the rights until 2018.[55]

Controversies[edit]

The selection[56][57][58] of young Northern Irish born players, especially those who have already represented Northern Ireland at youth level, into Republic of Ireland national teams has been controversial,[59] as these players are able to claim Irish nationality even though born and brought up outside the Republic's territory. This has led to accusations of unfairness and predatory behaviour.[60][61] In Northern Ireland it is seen by Northern Ireland supporters as having the effect of dividing international football in their country along sectarian lines, whereby Nationalists will declare for the Republic of Ireland while Unionists continue to play for Northern Ireland.[62]

Competitive record[edit]

FIFA World Cup record[edit]

FIFA World Cup FIFA World Cup Qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D * L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA Position
Uruguay 1930 Did not enter
Italy 1934 Did not qualify 2 0 1 1 6 9 3/3
France 1938 2 0 1 1 5 6 2/2
Brazil 1950 4 1 1 2 6 7 2/3
Switzerland 1954 4 2 0 2 8 6 2/3
Sweden 1958 4 2 1 1 6 7 2/3
Chile 1962 4 0 0 4 3 17 3/3
England 1966 3 1 0 2 2 5 Lost Playoff
Mexico 1970 6 0 1 5 3 14 4/4
West Germany 1974 4 1 1 2 4 5 2/3
Argentina 1978 4 1 1 2 2 4 3/3
Spain 1982 8 4 2 2 17 11 3/5
Mexico 1986 8 2 2 4 5 10 4/5
Italy 1990 Quarter-Finals 7th 5 0 4 1 2 3 8 5 2 1 10 2 2/5
United States 1994 Round of 16 15th 4 1 1 2 2 4 12 7 4 1 19 6 2/7
France 1998 Did not qualify 12 5 4 3 24 11 2/6 Lost Playoff
South Korea Japan 2002 Round of 16 12th 4 1 3 0 6 3 12 8 3 1 25 6 2/6 Won Playoff
Germany 2006 Did not qualify 10 4 5 1 12 5 4/6
South Africa 2010 12 4 7 1 13 10 2/6 Lost Playoff
Brazil 2014 10 4 2 4 16 17 4/6
Russia 2018 Future qualification campaign
Qatar 2022 Future qualification campaign
Total Quarter-Finals 3/20 13 2 8 3 10 10 129 51 38 40 186 158
Draws include knockout matches decided by penalty shootout.

UEFA European Championship record[edit]

Team huddles before playing Spain at Euro 2012
Championship record Qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA Position
France 1960 Did not qualify 2 1 0 1 2 4 Preliminary round
Spain 1964 6 2 2 2 9 12 Quarter-final
Italy 1968 6 2 1 3 5 8 3/4
Belgium 1972 6 0 1 5 3 17 4/4
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 1976 6 3 1 2 11 5 2/4
Italy 1980 8 2 3 3 9 8 3/5
France 1984 8 4 1 3 20 10 3/5
West Germany 1988[63] Group stage Group 2 (3/4) 3 1 1 1 2 2 8 4 3 1 10 5 1/5
Sweden 1992 Did not qualify 6 2 4 0 13 6 2/4
England 1996 11 5 2 4 17 13 2/6 Lost Playoff
Belgium Netherlands 2000 10 5 3 2 15 7 2/5 Lost Playoff
Portugal 2004 8 3 2 3 10 11 3/5
Austria Switzerland 2008 12 4 5 3 17 14 3/7
Poland Ukraine 2012[64] Group Stage Group C (4/4) 3 0 0 3 1 9 12 7 4 1 20 8 2/6 Won Playoff
France 2016 Qualification in progress 1 1 0 0 2 1 2/6
Total Group stage 2/14 6 1 1 4 3 11 110 45 32 33 163 129

Other tournaments[edit]

Year Position GP W D L GS GA
France 1924 Olympics 5th 2 1 0 1 2 2
United Kingdom 1948 Olympics 17th 1 0 0 1 1 3
Brazil 1972 Brazil Independence Cup 13th 4 2 0 2 7 7
Japan 1984 Kirin Cup 2nd 4 1 2 1 2 2
Iceland 1986 Iceland Triangular Tournament 1st 2 2 0 0 3 1
United States 1992 U.S. Cup 3rd 3 1 0 2 3 5
United States 1996 U.S. Cup 2nd 3 1 1 1 6 4
United States 2000 U.S. Cup 2nd 3 1 2 0 5 4
England 2004 Unity Cup 2nd 2 1 0 1 1 3
Republic of Ireland 2011 Nations Cup 1st 3 3 0 0 9 0
Total 24 13 3 8 38 29

Opponents[edit]

The team's head to head records against all 75 nations whom they have played to date, including friendly internationals:[65] Three of these teams no longer exist (Czechoslovakia, the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia), so Ireland have played against 72 of the current 209 FIFA members: 49 UEFA, 8 CONMEBOL, 7 CAF, 6 CONCACAF and 5 AFC members as of 11 June 2014.[66] The only UEFA members against whom Ireland have not played are: Azerbaijan, Belarus, Gibraltar, Moldova, Slovenia and Ukraine. Ireland will, however, play against Gibraltar in a match secheduled for October 2014.

As of 7 September 2014.

Against Region P W D L GF GA GD Win % First match Last match
 Albania UEFA 4 3 1 0 6 2 +4 75% 1992-05-26 2003-06-07
 Algeria CAF 2 1 0 1 3 2 +1 50% 1982-04-28 2010-05-29
 Andorra UEFA 4 4 0 0 11 2 +9 100% 2001-03-28 2011-10-07
 Argentina CONMEBOL 4 0 0 4 0 5 −5 0% 1951-05-13 2010-08-11
 Armenia UEFA 2 2 0 0 3 1 +2 100% 2010-09-03 2011-10-11
 Australia AFC 2 1 0 1 2 4 −2 50% 2003-08-19 2009-08-12
 Austria UEFA 14 2 3 9 17 36 −19 14.29% 1952-05-07 2013-09-10
 Belgium UEFA 14 4 5 5 24 25 −1 28.57% 1928-02-12 1997-11-15
 Bolivia CONMEBOL 3 2 1 0 5 1 4 66.67% 1994-05-24 2007-05-26
 Bosnia-Herzegovina UEFA 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 100% 2012-05-26 2012-05-26
 Brazil CONMEBOL 6 1 1 4 2 12 −10 16.67% 1974-05-05 2010-03-02
 Bulgaria UEFA 10 3 4 3 11 8 +3 30% 1924-05-28 2009-06-06
 Cameroon CAF 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 0% 2002-06-01 2002-06-01
 Canada CONCACAF 1 1 0 0 3 0 +3 100% 2003-11-18 2003-11-18
 Chile CONMEBOL 6 2 1 3 6 6 0 33.33% 1960-03-30 2006-05-24
 China PR AFC 2 2 0 0 2 0 +2 100% 1984-06-03 2005-03-29
 Colombia CONMEBOL 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1 100% 2008-05-29 2008-05-29
 Costa Rica CONCACAF 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 0% 2014-06-06 2014-06-06
 Croatia UEFA 7 2 3 2 8 8 0 28.57% 1996-06-02 2012-06-10
 Cyprus UEFA 10 8 1 1 27 9 +18 80% 1980-03-26 2009-09-05
 Czech Republic UEFA 8 2 2 4 9 13 −4 25% 1994-06-05 2012-02-29
 Czechoslovakia UEFA 12 4 1 7 14 29 −15 33.33% 1938-05-18 1986-05-27
 Denmark UEFA 12 5 4 3 19 15 +4 41.67% 1956-10-03 2007-08-22
 Ecuador CONMEBOL 2 1 1 0 4 3 +1 50% 1972-06-18 2007-05-23
 Egypt CAF 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0% 1990-06-17 1990-06-17
 England UEFA 14 2 7 5 13 20 −7 21.43% 1946-09-30 2013-05-29
 Estonia UEFA 5 4 1 0 12 2 +10 80% 1924-06-03 2011-11-15
 Faroe Islands UEFA 4 4 0 0 11 1 +10 100% 2004-10-13 2013-06-07
 Finland UEFA 5 3 2 0 11 2 +9 60% 1949-09-08 2002-08-21
 France UEFA 15 4 5 6 14 18 −4 26.67% 1937-05-23 2009-11-18
 Georgia UEFA 6 6 0 0 14 4 +10 100% 2003-03-29 2014-09-07
 Germany a UEFA 18 5 4 9 22 34 −12 27.78% 1935-05-08 2013-10-11
 Greece UEFA 3 0 1 2 0 2 −2 0% 2000-04-26 2012-11-14
 Hungary UEFA 11 2 5 4 16 21 −5 18.18% 1934-12-15 2012-06-04
 Iceland UEFA 7 5 2 0 16 6 +10 71.43% 1962-08-12 1997-09-06
 Iran AFC 3 2 0 1 4 2 +2 66.67% 1972-06-11 2001-11-15
 Israel UEFA 5 1 3 1 8 6 +2 20% 1984-04-04 2005-06-04
 Italy UEFA 13 2 3 8 9 20 −11 16.67% 1926-03-21 2014-05-31
 Jamaica CONCACAF 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1 100% 2004-06-02 2004-06-02
 Kazakhstan UEFA 2 2 0 0 5 2 +3 100% 2012-09-07 2013-10-15
 Latvia UEFA 5 5 0 0 14 1 +13 100% 1992-09-09 2013-11-15
 Liechtenstein UEFA 4 3 1 0 14 0 +14 75% 1994-10-12 1997-05-21
 Lithuania UEFA 4 3 1 0 5 1 +4 75% 1993-06-16 1997-09-10
 Luxembourg UEFA 5 5 0 0 14 2 +12 100% 1936-05-09 1987-09-09
 Macedonia UEFA 6 4 1 1 11 5 +6 66.67% 1996-10-09 2011-06-04
 Malta UEFA 7 7 0 0 24 2 +22 100% 1983-03-30 1999-09-08
 Mexico CONCACAF 5 0 4 1 5 6 −1 0% 1984-08-08 2000-06-04
 Montenegro UEFA 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0% 2008-09-10 2009-10-14
 Morocco CAF 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1 100% 1990-09-12 1990-09-12
 Netherlands UEFA 21 7 3 11 28 39 −11 33.33% 1924-06-02 2006-08-16
 Nigeria CAF 3 0 1 2 2 6 −4 0% 2002-05-16 2009-05-29
 Northern Ireland UEFA 10 4 4 2 17 4 +13 40% 1978-09-20 2011-05-24
 Norway UEFA 18 7 8 3 29 19 +10 38.89% 1937-10-10 2010-11-17
 Oman AFC 2 2 0 0 6 1 +5 100% 2012-09-11 2014-09-03
 Paraguay CONMEBOL 2 2 0 0 4 1 +3 100% 1999-02-10 2010-05-25
 Poland UEFA 25 6 9 10 27 40 −13 24% 1938-05-22 2013-11-19
 Portugal UEFA 13 4 2 7 10 20 −10 33.33% 1946-06-16 2014-06-10
 Romania UEFA 5 2 2 1 4 2 +2 40% 1988-03-23 2004-05-27
 Russia UEFA 7 1 3 3 7 10 −3 14.29% 1994-03-23 2011-09-06
 San Marino UEFA 2 2 0 0 7 1 +6 100% 2006-11-15 2007-02-07
 Saudi Arabia AFC 1 1 0 0 3 0 +3 100% 2002-06-11 2002-06-11
 Scotland UEFA 9 4 2 3 8 10 −2 44.44% 1961-05-03 2011-05-29
 Serbia b UEFA 7 2 2 3 7 9 −2 28.57% 1955-10-19 2014-03-05
 Slovakia UEFA 4 1 3 0 4 3 +1 25% 2007-03-28 2011-09-02
 South Africa CAF 2 2 0 0 3 1 +2 100% 2000-06-11 2009-09-08
 Soviet Union UEFA 8 3 1 4 8 8 0 37.5% 1972-10-18 1990-04-25
 Spain UEFA 26 4 7 15 18 54 −36 15.38% 1931-04-26 2013-06-11
 Sweden UEFA 10 3 2 5 13 16 −3 30% 1949-06-02 2013-09-06
 Switzerland UEFA 15 7 3 5 17 10 +7 46.67% 1935-05-05 2005-10-12
 Trinidad and Tobago CONCACAF 1 0 0 1 1 2 −1 0% 1982-05-30 1982-05-30
 Tunisia CAF 1 1 0 0 4 0 +4 100% 1988-10-19 1988-10-19
 Turkey UEFA 13 5 6 2 27 15 +12 41.67% 1966-11-16 2014-05-25
 United States CONCACAF 8 4 2 2 16 12 +4 50% 1924-06-14 2002-04-17
 Uruguay CONMEBOL 3 0 1 2 3 6 −3 0% 1974-05-08 2011-03-29
 Wales UEFA 13 5 3 5 16 13 +3 41.67% 1960-09-28 2013-08-14
Total 75 nations 510 202 137 171 713 642 +71 39.61%
a.^ "Germany" includes nine games against West Germany which were played between 1950 and German reunification in 1990.
b.^ "Serbia" includes two games against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia which existed between 1992 and 2003.

Recent results and forthcoming fixtures[edit]

Irish football team, September 2013

Ireland began its 2014 World Cup qualification campaign with a narrow 2-1 victory against Kazakhstan[67] but lost 6-1 in their second match against Germany,[68] their worst home defeat.[69] Losses against Sweden and Austria in September 2013 effectively ended the team's hope of qualifying for the World Cup.[70]

After a disappointing World Cup campaign, Ireland this time will have a better chance of qualification for UEFA Euro 2016 due to the expansion to 24 teams. Ireland's first game was a 2-1 victory away to Georgia.[citation needed]

Schedule[edit]

As of 7 September 2014
Date Competition Venue Opponent Result Scorer(s)
5 March 2014
Friendly match
Dublin, Ireland
 Serbia
1 – 2
Shane Long Goal 7', James McCarthy Goal 47' (o.g.), Filip Đorđević Goal 59'
25 May 2014
Friendly match
Dublin, Ireland
 Turkey
1 – 2
Ahmet İlhan Özek Goal 17', Tarık Çamdal Goal 75', Jonathan Walters Goal 78' [71]
31 May 2014
Friendly match
Fulham, England
 Italy
0 – 0
[72]
6 June 2014
Friendly match
Chester, USA
 Costa Rica
1 – 1
Kevin Doyle Goal 17', Celso Borges Goal 64' (pen) [73]
10 June 2014
Friendly match
East Rutherford, USA
 Portugal
1 – 5
Hugo Almeida Goal 3'37', Richard Keogh Goal 20' (o.g.), James McClean Goal 47', Vieirinha Goal 77', Fábio Coentrão Goal 83' [74]
3 September 2014
Friendly match
Dublin, Ireland
 Oman
2 – 0
Kevin Doyle Goal 20', Alex Pearce Goal 81' [75]
7 September 2014
Euro 2016 qualifier
Tblisi, Georgia
 Georgia
1 – 2
Aiden McGeady Goal 24, 90', Tornike Okriashvili Goal 38' [76]
11 October 2014
Euro 2016 qualifier
Dublin, Ireland
 Gibraltar
[77]
14 October 2014
Euro 2016 qualifier
Gelsenkirchen, Germany
 Germany
[78]
14 November 2014
Euro 2016 qualifier
Glasgow, Scotland
 Scotland
[79][80][81]
18 November 2014
Friendly match
Dublin, Ireland
 United States
[82]
29 March 2015
Euro 2016 qualifier
Dublin, Ireland
 Poland
[83]
7 June 2015
Friendly match
Dublin, Ireland
 England
[84]
13 June 2015
Euro 2016 qualifier
Dublin, Ireland
 Scotland
[85]
4 September 2015
Euro 2016 qualifier
Faro, Portugal
 Gibraltar
[86]
7 September 2015
Euro 2016 qualifier
Dublin, Ireland
 Georgia
[87]
8 October 2015
Euro 2016 qualifier
Dublin, Ireland
 Germany
[88]
11 October 2015
Euro 2016 qualifier
Warsaw, Poland
 Poland
[89]

Squad[edit]

Current squad[edit]

The following players were named in the preliminary squad for the friendly match against Oman on 3 September 2014 and the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifier match against Georgia on 7 September 2014.
Caps and goals as of 7 September 2014 after the match against Georgia.

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK David Forde (1979-12-20) 20 December 1979 (age 34) 21 0 England Millwall
16 1GK Rob Elliot (1986-04-30) 30 April 1986 (age 28) 2 0 England Newcastle United
23 1GK Shay Given (1976-04-20) 20 April 1976 (age 38) 126 0 England Aston Villa
2 2DF Séamus Coleman (1988-10-11) 11 October 1988 (age 25) 24 0 England Everton
3 2DF Marc Wilson (1987-08-17) 17 August 1987 (age 27) 18 1 England Stoke City
4 2DF John O'Shea (1981-04-30) 30 April 1981 (age 33) 97 2 England Sunderland
5 2DF Richard Keogh (1986-08-11) 11 August 1986 (age 28) 6 1 England Derby County
15 2DF Alex Pearce (1988-11-09) 9 November 1988 (age 25) 5 2 England Reading
17 2DF Stephen Ward (1985-08-20) 20 August 1985 (age 29) 26 2 England Burnley
6 3MF Glenn Whelan (1984-01-13) 13 January 1984 (age 30) 60 2 England Stoke City
7 3MF Aiden McGeady (1986-04-04) 4 April 1986 (age 28) 70 5 England Everton
8 3MF James McCarthy (1990-11-12) 12 November 1990 (age 23) 24 0 England Everton
11 3MF Robbie Brady (1992-01-14) 14 January 1992 (age 22) 8 1 England Hull City
12 3MF David Meyler (1989-05-29) 29 May 1989 (age 25) 10 0 England Hull City
13 3MF Anthony Pilkington (1988-06-06) 6 June 1988 (age 26) 7 0 Wales Cardiff City
18 3MF Stephen Quinn (1986-04-04) 4 April 1986 (age 28) 9 0 England Hull City
19 3MF Darron Gibson (1987-10-25) 25 October 1987 (age 26) 22 1 England Everton
20 3MF Wes Hoolahan (1982-05-20) 20 May 1982 (age 32) 15 1 England Norwich City
9 4FW Shane Long (1987-01-22) 22 January 1987 (age 27) 50 11 England Southampton
10 4FW Robbie Keane (Captain) (1980-07-08) 8 July 1980 (age 34) 136 62 United States LA Galaxy
14 4FW Jonathan Walters (1983-09-20) 20 September 1983 (age 30) 28 5 England Stoke City
21 4FW Daryl Murphy (1983-03-15) 15 March 1983 (age 31) 11 0 England Ipswich Town
22 4FW Kevin Doyle (1983-09-18) 18 September 1983 (age 31) 59 14 England Crystal Palace

Recent call-ups[edit]

The following players have been called up to the squad during the last 12 months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Keiren Westwood (1984-10-23) 23 October 1984 (age 29) 16 0 England Sheffield Wednesday v.  Oman, 3 September 2014
GK Darren Randolph (1987-05-12) 12 May 1987 (age 27) 2 0 England Birmingham City v.  Oman, 3 September 2014
GK Ian Lawlor (1994-10-27) 27 October 1994 (age 19) 0 0 England Manchester City II v.  Portugal, 10 June 2014
GK Joe Murphy (1981-08-21) 21 August 1981 (age 33) 2 0 England Huddersfield Town v.  Italy, 31 May 2014
GK Brian Murphy (1983-05-07) 7 May 1983 (age 31) 0 0 England Queens Park Rangers v.  Serbia, 5 March 2014
GK Stephen Henderson (1988-05-02) 2 May 1988 (age 26) 0 0 England Charlton Athletic v.  Kazakhstan, 15 October 2013
DF Stephen Kelly (1983-09-06) 6 September 1983 (age 31) 39 0 England Reading v.  Oman, 3 September 2014
DF Paul McShane (1986-01-06) 6 January 1986 (age 28) 31 0 England Hull City v.  Oman, 3 September 2014
DF Ciaran Clark (1989-09-26) 26 September 1989 (age 24) 10 1 England Aston Villa v.  Oman, 3 September 2014
DF Damien Delaney (1981-07-20) 20 July 1981 (age 33) 9 0 England Crystal Palace v.  Oman, 3 September 2014
DF Joey O'Brien (1986-02-17) 17 February 1986 (age 28) 5 0 England West Ham United v.  Oman, 3 September 2014
DF Shane Duffy (1992-01-01) 1 January 1992 (age 22) 1 0 England Blackburn Rovers v.  Oman, 3 September 2014
DF Sean St Ledger (1984-12-28) 28 December 1984 (age 29) 37 3 Unattached v.  Poland, 19 November 2013
DF Richard Dunne RET (1979-09-21) 21 September 1979 (age 34) 80 8 England Queens Park Rangers v.  Kazakhstan, 15 October 2013
MF James McClean INJ (1989-04-22) 22 April 1989 (age 25) 24 1 England Wigan Athletic v.  Georgia, 7 September 2014 WD
MF Andy Reid (1982-07-29) 29 July 1982 (age 32) 29 4 England Nottingham Forest v.  Oman, 3 September 2014
MF Jeff Hendrick (1992-01-31) 31 January 1992 (age 22) 7 0 England Derby County v.  Oman, 3 September 2014
MF Paul Green (1983-04-10) 10 April 1983 (age 31) 22 1 England Rotherham United v.  Portugal, 10 June 2014
FW Simon Cox (1987-04-28) 28 April 1987 (age 27) 30 4 England Reading v.  Oman, 3 September 2014
FW Conor Sammon (1986-11-06) 6 November 1986 (age 27) 9 0 England Ipswich Town v.  Oman, 3 September 2014
FW Anthony Stokes (1988-07-25) 25 July 1988 (age 26) 8 0 Scotland Celtic v.  Oman, 3 September 2014

Previous squads[edit]

Honours[edit]