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It's Only Started But Leo Wessi Is Already Getting Deserved Plaudits From European Media

It's Only Started But Leo Wessi Is Already Getting Deserved Plaudits From European Media
By Gary Reilly
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So good he doesn't even need a second name anymore. Cher, Madonna, Prince, Wes. We're not entirely sure why becoming an icon gives the general public free licence to do away with your family's name but there it is. He's Wes, Weso or, if you're in the middle of Euro 2016, Leo Wessi.

No matter what you call him, it's an absolute joy watching him light up the biggest stage. Many will regret the fact that it's taken this long for Ireland to give him the platform to shine but now's not the time for regrets. We're here and, unlike four years ago, it feels like we're really part of it. Thanks in no small part to Wes' performance against Sweden.

It may not have been the ideal result but it keeps us dreaming and we're certainly not the only ones to have noticed how big of an impact Hoolahan had on proceedings in the Stade de France.

In their match report, Der Spiegel, who were really going all out with the 'Irish Messi' analogy, summed up the Norwich man's opener rather nicely.

After 47 minutes, Wes Hoolahan did what "Irish Messis" do - he took a cross from the right (Séamus Coleman) and wonderfully struck home from 13 meters to make it 1-0.

If ever the German media were going to pen the word 'wunderbar' in relation to an Irish player this tournament, it was likely to be Wes (that is until Shane Long, smacks a couple past Neuer in the final of course). And they're not the only one's to have offered some complimentary words about the Dubliner.

Marca have named their twelve MVP's from the opening rounds of the matches and there was only likely to be one winner from the Ireland vs Sweden clash.


The likes of Payet, Iniesta and Modric all get a mention but, unsurprisingly, it's their take on Hoolahan that caught the attention of some Irish eyes.

Hoolahan surprises for Ireland

The Norwich City attacker was the pick of the bunch in the match that pitted his team against Ibrahimovic's Sweden. He scored a good goal from a Coleman pass, and he never stopped fighting and providing for his teammates throughout the match. Ireland want to be the revelation of the Euro, and they've already taken the first step to achieve this.

Next up on the chopping block, a Belgian defence that looked surprisingly porous against the Italians. If Martin O'Neill was planning on given Hoolahan a rest during the group stage, he may want to start rethinking things, particularly with Jon Walters looking likely to miss out on Saturday.

The English football media are, of course, more inclined to be in the know about the open secret that is Wes Hoolahan. Nonetheless it's worth mentioning the article that George Caulkin has penned for the Times today.

'Hoolahan shows how physique and age are irrelevant' - that's a sentiment that plenty have been screaming from the rooftops for quite a while now to varying degrees of success. According to Caulkin, Wes' 'has been a lengthy, frustrating story, dappled with shimmering promise and, given that he is now 34, it may end too soon'.


Hoolahan himself has admitted that this may well be his first and last taste of major tournament football. However, there's plenty of time to lament that fact next month. For now, we just have to enjoy him for what he is and hope that he can light up Euro 2016 once more this weekend.

Thanks to @nllmnly for the heads up on the Marca piece.

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