• Home
  • /
  • Football
  • /
  • An 'Idiot Doctor' Was The Reason Gary Breen Didn't Sign For Inter Milan

An 'Idiot Doctor' Was The Reason Gary Breen Didn't Sign For Inter Milan

An 'Idiot Doctor' Was The Reason Gary Breen Didn't Sign For Inter Milan
Balls Team
By Balls Team Updated
Share this article

Tuesday marks a very special day in the Irish footballing calendar - it's the 50th birthday of the legendary Gary Breen.

The Irish defender was a stalwart of both the Premier League and the Republic of Ireland national team during the late 1990s and early 2000s, with his peak coming in and around the 2002 World Cup.


After that tournament, Inter Milan, like the rest of us, were dreaming of a team of Gary Breens.

How Gary Breen nearly signed for Inter Milan

It was well publicised that Gary Breen was one of the only players at the 2002 World Cup that was technically unemployed as his contract at Coventry had expired, but as a number of clubs were looking at him, it became clear that Inter Milan were one of them.

READ HERE: Ireland's Journey To Tehran In 2001: An Away Trip Unlike Any Other

Unfortunately, things didn't quite work for him and the Italian team, and according to Breen, an 'idiot doctor' was the reason behind it.


Breen scored Ireland's second goal, in a 3-0 win over Saudi Arabia in the 2002 World Cup, and Inter Milan came calling soon after, and allegedly Barcelona too..

Gary Breen Saudi Arabia

11 June 2002; Gary Breen of Republic of Ireland, right, celebrates with team-mate Robbie Keane after scoring his side's second goal during the FIFA World Cup 2002 Group E match between Saudi Arabia and Republic of Ireland at the International Stadium Yokohama in Yokohama, Japan. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile

Speaking in 2017 at an Off the Ball event in Vicar Street, Breen denied that Barcelona had shown interest. Inter Milan though had a genuine line of enquiry - but Breen failed his medical test, resulting in the contract falling through.

Prior to the Spain Game, I had a agreed a deal with Inter. When we got back to Dublin, I flew out to Milan, I had the medical (test), failed the medical, and I still haven’t gotten over it.

Breen failed his medical due to a problem with his knee, but seemingly he doesn't think there was much of an issue.


Interviewer: What was the problem?

Gary Breen: My knee apparently. But essentially, the doctor was an idiot.

Interviewer:  So there was nothing wrong with your knee?

Breen: Well listen, you can check any footballer's knee and I’m sure you will find something. But listen, it was one of those things, you know that I’m bashful enough to know that it was a once in a lifetime thing. You were on a free-transfer, you just had a reasonably good World Cup, Inter Milan were getting loads of players in at the time.

So in terms of having the opportunity to go and play, it would have been great. I was 28 years of age, it was the right time, it would have brilliant and I was so looking forward to it. And when it didn’t materialise, I struggled actually for a little bit after that. I just couldn’t get it out of my head but you know that’s life.

Instead, Breen signed for West Ham where he struggled for playing time before moving to Sunderland and becoming a regular, his dreams of becoming a hero in Milan dashed.


Ah well, we can all dream...

SEE ALSO: Stephen Kelly Says Misunderstood Candidate Would Be Ideal Fit As Ireland Manager


Join The Monday Club Have a tip or something brilliant you wanted to share on? We're looking for loyal Balls readers free-to-join members club where top tipsters can win prizes and Balls merchandise

Processing your request...

You are now subscribed!

Share this article

Copyright © 2024. All rights reserved. Developed by Square1 and powered by PublisherPlus.com