Here’s Hoping We’ll Be Making More Additions To This List Pretty Soon…
Ireland might not be the largest country on earth (we’re not even in the top 100 unfortunately, but we’re certainly one of the proudest. There’s nothing we love more than punching above our weight, and over the years our football team has been able to pull some incredible performances out of the bag.
From iconic moments in major tournaments to nail-biting qualifiers, we’ve seen it all. Below we’ve listed a few of our favourites but let us know on the Carrolls Irish Gifts Facebook or Instagram if you think we’ve missed out on any!
Italia ’90 vs Romania
This was always going to make the list, and for good reason. We doubt many people would have expected much from this tiny nation making their way into their first World Cup.
Up steps 32-year-old Arsenal star David O’Leary for what will become a moment for the ages. He pins the ball into the back of the net, and the world watched on as humble Ireland erupted with joy.
Euros ’88 vs England
Another game we were hardly going to leave out, this game showed a generation of fans what was possible when you backed our boys in green. Just like the nation he represented, Ray Houghton was made up in determination what he lacked in physical size.
When he headed the ball into the England goal, people could no longer doubt Ireland’s ability to exceed expectations. While that tournament ended in heartbreak, it changed the dynamic of what we expected from the Irish football team.
2002 World Cup vs Germany
When you lose a player who is both your squad captain and one of the most influential leaders in the game before the tournament has even started, doubters are bound to start flooding in. It was a tough ask for Ireland to come out with a result against a star-studded German side, but Robbie Keane stood up (and cartwheeled) when we needed him most.
Putting the ball past legendary keeper Oliver Kahn is no small task, but it’s even more amazing that it came in a last-minute decider in a major tournament. Just to make sure the message carried through, this Ireland side once again proved you should never write us off.
Euros 2016 Qualifier vs Germany
Keeping with the trend of matches against Germany, this was a win that very few would have thought possible. A beautiful kick out from Darren Randolph found its way to Shane Long, who took advantage of the high German line by sending the ball into the net.
As emotional a moment as we’ve ever had in Dublin, it’s one that will never be forgotten. Beating the World Cup champions isn’t exactly something that happens every week after all…
World Cup 2018 Qualifier vs Wales
While this qualifying campaign ended with bitter disappointment, this result was another reminder that we should never lose hope. A win in Cardiff wasn’t something many people thought this batch of Ireland players was capable of, but once again they stepped up when it mattered.
Jeff Hendrick’s determination to keep the ball alive sums up this team’s heritage. What seemed like a nothing moment quickly sparked into a genuine opportunity, and his cross towards James McClean couldn’t have been better places.
If you want to make sure you’re decked out in green for the next addition to this list, check out our full selection of Official FAI Merchandise.