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Italian football coach Giovanni Trapattoni is not only news these days for qualifying Ireland to play the European Championship for the first time since 1988. He’s also making headlines because, at age 73, he has become the oldest coach to lead out a national team in the history of the UEFA’s tournament.
"I am 73 years young," jokes Trapattoni, a true active-ager and ambassador of the European Year 2012 message.
“I have been to many finals as a player and a manager but that is in the past,” said Ireland’s coach recently to The Daily Express. “Now, it is important to show everyone that I am still useful by what I can do tomorrow and what I can do in the future.”
As a matter of fact, the last two UEFA European Championship-winning coaches were both pensioners: Luis Aragonés, who won with Spain in 2008 when he was 69 years and 337 days, and Otto Rehhage, who won with Greece in 2004 whe he was 65 years, 327 days.