Trapattoni refuses to take the biscuit

Giovanni Trapattoni brushed aside the Italian media's conspiracy theories on Sunday but Ireland's coach become visibly flustered when commenting on the criticism of former captain Roy Keane.

The sprightly 73-year-old also explained why he does not want to coach in his native Italy again, blaming the demands for immediate success, and saying he had no regrets after stints in Austria, Portugal and Germany as well as Ireland.

The Irish, already eliminated from Euro 2012 after losing their first two Group C games, end their campaign on Monday against Trapattoni's native Italy whose chances hinge on the outcome of the Spain-Croatia game.

Under the complex head-to-head system, a draw of 2-2 or higher between Spain and Croatia would send those teams through regardless of Italy's result against Ireland.

The fear that Spain and Croatia will somehow contrive a 2-2 draw is growing among the Italian media who love conspiracies which they oddly refer to as biscuits.

Having quizzed almost every member of the Italian squad about it, reporters turned their attention to former Italy coach Trapattoni on Sunday as Ireland's Robbie Keane and Damian Duff looked on in bewilderment.

At Euro 2004 Trapattoni's Italy went out in the group stage in exactly the same sort of scenario they fear now, when a 2-2 draw between Denmark and Sweden prompted their exit.

"I've already responded, the same things don't always repeat themselves, because they occurred in the past I think the organisations in charge will keep a close eye on what going on," said Trapattoni.

"I think it's unlikely the situation will occur again," he added.

GREAT SCARS

Trapattoni also brushed aside another biscuit, the suggestion that Ireland could make life easy for his Italian compatriots who will go through with a win if Spain and Croatia draw 0-0 or if one of those two sides wins.

"I must admit when situations like this go on, we are all ready to think that we Italians are supposed to think we are the masters of making these agreements, this is what we are infamous for," said Trapattoni.

"But I think everything is the same in other countries, these things have happened all over the place, not just in Italy and they have left great scars."

"I have to ask for the highest commitment from the players for the people who pay our wages, the people who support us. We are not going to change our approach just because we have lost two games, we are not going to undermine all our credibility and honour."

Trapattoni took the questions in his stride until he was asked to comment on the latest stinging criticism from Roy Keane.

"I've already said has been a great player when he also achieved great success but I don't know if he achieved the same results as coach," he said.

Turning away from the microphone, he then swore in Italian and asked: "What has he won?"

As to any possibility of returning home, Trapattoni said: "I've had a lot of results in my career both in Italy and abroad in three or four different countries, if I didn't come back to it it's because I didn't want to.

"I said I had done my time in Italy and they want everything immediately so I decided to stay where my professionalism was rewarded."


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