Evolution of the Irish team

A look back at key moments and matches

Betting in Ireland on exciting matches has been popular for a long time. And the Irish National Team has experienced many ups and downs in their history. From their humble beginnings to their modern successes, the Boys in Green have given their fans plenty of moments to remember. In this article, we’ll take a look back at some of the key moments and matches that have shaped the evolution of the Irish National Team.

The Early Years (1921-1959)

The Irish Free State football team played its first official international match on February 28, 1926, against Italy in Turin. Although they lost 3-0, it marked the beginning of international football for the nation. One standout moment from this era was the team’s victory over Belgium in a 1934 FIFA World Cup qualifier, with Paddy Moore scoring a hat-trick.

The Sixties and Seventies: Gaining Ground

The 1960s and 70s saw the Irish team steadily improving, with notable achievements such as their 1964 European Nations Cup qualification campaign. Led by manager Johnny Carey, the Boys in Green narrowly missed out on qualification, finishing second in their group. In 1974, the team secured a memorable 3-0 victory over the Soviet Union in a European Championship qualifier, showcasing their progress on the international stage.

The Jack Charlton Era (1986-1996)

The appointment of Jack Charlton as manager in 1986 marked a turning point for the Irish National Team. Under Charlton, the team qualified for three major tournaments, including their first-ever appearance at a European Championship in 1998 and World Cup in 1990. The 1990 World Cup in Italy saw the Irish team reach the quarterfinals.

The Noughties: Continuing Success

The 2000s saw the Irish National Team maintain their competitive edge, with the team qualifying for the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan. Ireland went out in the last 16 stage, on penalties to Spain, in a game Ireland had largely dominated.

The Trapattoni Era (2008-2013)

Giovanni Trapattoni’s tenure as manager saw the Irish National Team return to the European Championship for the first time since 1988. The team qualified for Euro 2012, but unfortunately, they failed to make an impact in the tournament, losing all three group matches against Croatia, Spain, and Italy.

The Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane Partnership (2013-2018)

The managerial partnership of Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane brought renewed optimism to the Irish National Team. Under their guidance, the team qualified for the 2016 European Championship in France. In the group stage, they secured a memorable 1-0 victory over Italy, with Robbie Brady’s late goal sending them through to the round of 16. Although they were eliminated by the host nation, France, the team’s spirited performance won the hearts of fans across the country.

The Stephen Kenny Era (2020-Present)

Stephen Kenny took the reins as manager in 2020, bringing a fresh approach to the Irish National Team. Kenny’s focus on youth development and an attractive, attacking style of play has been welcomed by fans and pundits alike. While the team narrowly missed out on qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, they showed promising signs of improvement during the qualification campaign.


The Irish National Team’s journey has been marked by ups and downs, but the Boys in Green have always displayed a never-say-die attitude that has endeared them to fans around the world. As they continue to evolve and develop under Stephen Kenny, there is a sense of optimism that the team’s future successes will add to the rich tapestry of their history.

Written by YBIG 12

YBIG SHOP 300*250

The best Irish football clubs

Top online casinos for fast payouts in Ireland