Giovanni Trapattoni in his own words

Departing Irish manager had a way with words. Below are some of his better known quotes

"Ireland are not a second-rate team...They are supposed to be a first-rate team. Qualifying for the World Cup in 2010 will be hard, and playing against the Italian team will make me proud, but it should be possible for Ireland to come first." - A statement released on his behalf when appointed Ireland manager

“It wasn’t up to Henry to say I touched it with my hand. It’s not his task to say he handles it.”

“He cannot say ‘Excuse me referee, I handled it’, the responsibility is with the referee.”

"The referee should have asked Henry did he handle it and let him answer." – On a certain incident in Paris


"Sometimes football lets you down, but like life it gives you another opportunity every day . . . it's football, it's life." – also on that incident

"The cat is in the sack, but the sack is not closed. The cat is in it, but it's open – and it's a wild cat." – after beating Estonia during the Euro 2012 play-offs

"Many national teams are interested. They asked us 'What are you doing, what aren't you doing?' But for now we're remaining loyal to what we signed. But in life I always say, never say never." – Committed to the Irish cause in 2010

"I always say that, in addition to being a coach, I'm also a priest. I go to each player's room and say who is playing and who isn't. I talk and explain. It's a little like confession." – As manager of Italy during Euro 2004

"I love [Kevin] Doyle. As a player, not a man. I love women … without doubt." - Clearing up the matter of his love for a certain striker

"He jumps like a kangaroo." – On Shane "Skippy" Long

"When I heard the crowd I thought Messi or Pele or Maradona was coming on." - On the reception James McClean received on his debut

"I don't expect, after this campaign, to go up again (with Ireland) in the future. But after five years I think we have achieved a good result." - After the latest defeats

"Obviously I thought until yesterday that we could go to the World Cup. I still think that the last two games can be decisive, I don't think that you can take for granted that Sweden will win in Kazakhstan, but maybe now third position would be a good position for us." - On the team's prospects now

"Football is like that. There is disappointment but there is also the opportunity to continue. Maybe I will have the opportunity to go with other teams, if not the Irish, maybe another. Why not?" - On opportunities post-Ireland