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Veteran boss 'grateful' to Irish people

Giovanni Trapattoni has been in football management since 1972. Credit: Niall Carson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni is "grateful to the Irish people" for believing in his project as his team attempt to kick off their Euro 2012 campaign with victory over Croatia.

The 73-year-old Italian, who has been in charge of the national side since 2008, paid tribute to supporters - many of whom will be turning out in their droves in Pozna tonight.

"I am really, really grateful to the Irish people because they believe in our project."

He continued: "For me and for [assistant manager] Marco Tardelli, we have given Irish people what Ireland has asked for.

"This has been the same through all my career. I have the same determination and the same concentration and the same attention to detail."

For full coverage of the Republic of Ireland's opening match in Euro 2012 visit ITV Sport.

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