‘100 years after the uprising the Republic’s latest hero is Robbie Brady’ - the European press reacts

Trap’s old team? Italians makes excuses about the pitch as French become wary

“The joy of the Irish was enormous, both for the players and the loyal Irish fans”. Photograph: Getty Images

With Irish fans still in dreamland after Robbie Brady's goal defeated Italy and put us into the last-16 of Euro 2016 - are the rest of Europe as impressed by the performance?

In Italy the press aren't getting too carried away with the defeat. "Italy B-team succumb to Ireland" - is the headline used by Football-Italia. And while 'La Repubblica' look for "the same determination shown by the men of O'Neill" from their team in the upcoming round-of-16 game against Spain - they refrain from being "too strict" on their team. Playing with "too many reserves, on an indecent field, and with the desire to avoid missing the quarter-finals due to injury or disqualification."

Meanwhile 'Corriere della Sera' refer to the boys in green as Trap's old team! "Now led by Martin O 'Neill, Ireland celebrated as if they had won the European Cup and perhaps it is as well as they enter the last sixteen to face France." A bit harsh! But there were more excuses, the Italians are also unhappy about the pitch in Lille.

“The fact remains that the defeat hurts and it does not bode well. The game was also complicated by the poor condition of the field. Uefa decided to close the retractable roof causing a frightening greenhouse, choking players. Head, heart and legs on Ireland, but it is inevitable to think of Spain in Paris on Monday.”


As for La Gazzetta dello Sport - “The Irish were flying, they went beyond their obvious technical limitations.”

As the Italians immediately turn their focus to the Spain game - so do we, to the French.

In the aftermath of Ireland’s dominant win L’Equipe asks - “What do you need to know about Ireland?”

Well apparently it's "hard to get out a star of eleven Irish, although Southampton striker Shane Long could carry this status. The right side of Seamus Coleman Everton or Stoke City striker Jonathan Walters are also safe bets."

As for our tactics - “Ireland relies on a solid defensive block, with only seven goals conceded in 10 qualifying matches.

"The long ball towards Shane Long (1.78 m, 70 kg) is the main weapons of Eire. The true custodian of the game is the southpaw Wes Hoolahan, who has complete freedom in the middle. This is the main Irish game launch."

So, the Italian's weren't too impressed, and the French aren't too worried. At least over in England our win and courageous performance was heralded.

The Guardian lead with - “Valiant Republic of Ireland find late recipe to beat Italy at their own game”.

Martin O’Neill’s gameplan is praised as are the fighting qualities of his team.

“The Republic do like a scrap, however, and they certainly gave Italy one of those, with James McClean scrapper in chief. Scrappers usually know about sucker punches too, and just as Italy thought their opponents had blown themselves out they came up with a late clincher.”

While in Sweden, the other team in Group E we took points from - 'Expressen' have gone all sentimental on us. "100 years after the Easter uprising the Republic of Ireland's latest hero is called Robbie Brady. "

While in Belgium 'Sporza' have been busy posting videos of the post-match celebrations - "The joy of the Irish was enormous, both for the players and the loyal Irish fans.

“The Italian impotence was not only because of picking the B-team, but also the Irish plan. By putting high pressure Ireland dominated the party.” And that they most certainly did.

Eamon Donoghue

Eamon Donoghue

Eamon Donoghue is a former Irish Times journalist