Mini football figure - Ireland
Miniature football player with kit of the national team of Ireland.
Our football players are casted in metal, and afterwards painted with care and sense for detail. Also discover our other football players.
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The Irish national football team, officially called the Republic of Ireland national football team, represents the Republic of Ireland, a state on the island of the same name, in football. It celebrated its greatest successes in the 1980s and 1990s.
The Republic of Ireland became an official member of FIFA in 1923 as the Irish Free State.
From the 1920s until the 1950s, both the Northern Ireland Football Association (IFA) and the Free State Football Association (FAIFS), and later the Football Association of Ireland (FAIreland), nominated players from all over the island for their respective selection teams. For example, Jimmy Dunne, who was Ireland's record goalscorer until 1967, played seven games for Northern Ireland between 1928 and 1932 and one game for the Irish Free State in 1930, then 14 games for the Irish Free State from 1936 to 1939, scoring 13 goals for the Irish Free State and four for Northern Ireland during this period. It was not until the mid-1950s that FIFA stopped this practice.
Under cult coach Jack Charlton, the first countable success came with qualification for the 1988 European Football Championship in Germany. Charlton used a ruse to achieve this. He kept an eye out for good players from other nations who had little chance of being called up to his own national team and could easily acquire Irish citizenship because of their ancestry. He found many of them in the professional leagues of England and Scotland. Among others, John Aldridge, Ray Houghton and Ronnie Whelan were three players from the legendary Liverpool FC team of the 1980s. From this motley bunch, he succeeded in creating a functioning team that achieved a major respectable success with a 1-0 victory (goal by Houghton) against arch-rivals England at the European Championship in Germany. They only narrowly missed out on a place in the semi-finals.
Two years later, Ireland not only reached the finals of the 1990 World Cup in Italy, but even made it to the quarter-finals, where only the hosts were too strong. This is the team's greatest success to date.
Ireland was the only team from the British Isles to qualify for the 1994 World Cup in the USA. Among other things, they reached the last 16 by beating Italy.
In the qualifiers for the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan, Ireland even came out on top at the expense of the Dutch and played in a group together with Germany. They held the eventual finalists to a 1-1 draw and also scored the only goal against Oliver Kahn before the final through Robbie Keane. In the round of 16, the Irish then failed in a penalty shoot-out against Spain.
In the qualifiers for the 2004 European Football Championship, Ireland only missed out on the second place in the group, which was necessary for the play-off matches, in the last group match (0:2 defeat away to Switzerland) and only came third in the group behind Switzerland and Russia.
Ireland also ultimately failed to qualify for the 2006 World Cup, losing to Switzerland. In the last decisive group match, the two teams played out a 0-0 draw in Dublin, Ireland thus missing out on the points required for second place in the group, which entitled them to a play-off match. Ireland even fell behind France, Switzerland and Israel to fourth place in the group.
In qualifying for the 2008 European Football Championship, Ireland ultimately finished third in their group, ten and twelve points behind Germany and the Czech Republic respectively.
In the qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Ireland finished unbeaten, with four wins and six draws, in second place behind Italy, who were also unbeaten, and thus qualified for the play-off matches, in which France were drawn as their opponents. After France won the first leg 1-0 in Ireland, the Irish were in the lead by the same score after regulation time at the Stade de France, so it went to extra time. In the 103rd minute, Thierry Henry used his hand in the penalty area to prevent the ball from going out of bounds, which he himself admitted immediately after the final whistle. Henry's subsequent pass was converted by William Gallas for the decisive goal in France's World Cup qualifying campaign as the Irish failed to score the winning goal in the remainder of the match. Ireland applied to FIFA for a replay. However, as this was considered a factual decision, FIFA decided not to act on the request.
In Group B for the 2012 European Championship qualifiers, the Irish team finished second behind the Russians with six wins, three draws and a 3-2 home defeat to Russia, qualifying for the play-off matches. Here, Estonia was the opponent in November 2011. The Irish had already won the first leg in the Baltic States 4:0. In June 2012, they received the UEFA Special Fair Play Award for the frenetic support of their fans, despite three defeats at the 2012 European Football Championship.
In the qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Ireland had only a theoretical chance of qualifying after eight out of ten match days, prompting the Irish FA to sack head coach Giovanni Trapattoni in September 2013. In the end, Ireland finished fourth in Group C, behind Austria, Sweden and Germany.
Under new Northern Ireland coach Martin O'Neill, Ireland qualified for the 2016 European Football Championship, finishing third in Group D and qualifying for the play-offs. Against Germany, whom they met again in the qualifiers, the team managed a 1-1 draw in the first leg in Gelsenkirchen and even won the second leg 1-0 against the reigning world champions. In the play-offs, Ireland met Bosnia-Herzegovina, which was beaten 1:1 and 2:0, thus qualifying for the European Championship for the second time in a row. In the final round, Ireland finished third in Group E with four points after a 1-1 draw with Sweden, a 3-0 defeat of Belgium and a 1-0 defeat of Italy, which, thanks to the new tournament format, entitled them to a place in the last 16. However, they were eliminated there with a 2-1 defeat against hosts France.
In the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, Ireland finished second in Group D, ahead of Wales, Austria, Georgia and Moldova, which once again qualified them for the play-offs. There, however, Ireland lost significantly to Denmark with 0:0 and 1:5.
In the qualifiers for the 2021 European Football Championship, Ireland only finished third in Group D, behind Denmark and Switzerland. However, by finishing in the newly created Nations League, Ireland qualified again for the play-offs. There, however, the team was narrowly eliminated in a penalty shootout in the semi-finals against Slovakia.
- 61 mm
- 40 gramms