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Ranking The People Ireland Wanted Doing The Euro 2016 Draw Tomorrow

By Conor Neville
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The shiny bald pate of Gianni Infantino will fill our television screens tomorrow, meaning it's time for the draw for Euro 2016.

Our readers have already voted for their favourite draw. A group containing England, Switzerland and Hungary has already been deemed the jackpot draw. Mindful of what went down in Poznan  and Gdansk, a group containing Spain, Italy and Poland represents the worst case scenario.

The men who are pulling the balls out of the bowl tomorrow have already been selected -  Oliver Bierhoff, David Trezeguet, Angelos Charisteas, and Antonin Panenka.

Who are the legends of draws gone by that we want these men to emulate? And who are the men whose example we want them to avoid?


3. Cyprus's answer to Emmet Malone

Aside from Steve Staunton and Paddy Kenny, no Irishman has done more for Cypriot football than Emmet Malone, who perhaps didn't at first realise the scenes of joy he had sparked in Nicosia (although this may be doing Emmet a disservice) when he pulled the name of 'APOEL Nicosia' out of the hat to replace the disqualified Fenerbache in the 2013/14 Europa League.

Malone received scores of tweets from grateful APOEL fans, had a banner unveiled in his honour, and there was even talk of a pub being named after him. Fans bought jerseys with his (full) name stitched into the back. New born kids in Nicosia were suddenly being called Emmet.


Interestingly, wikipedia (where I do very little of my research) has written that Malone's 'popularity has suddenly risen in Cyprus', a formulation which makes it sound like Malone's popularity in Cyprus had already been polled before any of this.

Either way, it's clear that the football writers of Cyprus owe us something in return. Had the 'Cypriot Times' football correspondent been asked to do the honours tomorrow, then we'd have hit the jackpot draw of England, Switzerland and Hungary.

2. Zbigniew Boniek


The Poles may have done us harm in this qualifying campaign, but one aged Polish legend has already given us a helping hand in draws past.

Ireland sneaked into the Euro 2012 qualification playoffs, thanks to Slovakia's post-World Cup lethargy and a couple of important wins over Armenia. We felt we were due a good draw in the playoffs.

Those who listened to the Guardian Football Weekly podcast that day - a novel way to experience a draw - will remember Barry Glendenning's ecstatic shout of 'YESSSS!', informing us that Ireland had won the playoff jackpot, drawing Estonia.


Those fans who got their hands on John Delaney's shoes can thank local hero Boniek for their Polish holiday.

1. Monique

Of all the heroes and heroines of Italia 90, perhaps none was more heroic than the woman we know only as Monique.


When Dublin corporation were looking for a woman to name the new bridge on the Liffey after, they went for someone called Rosie Hackett.


They could have done worse than naming it after 'Monique.'

Regrettably, Monique appears to have disappeared off the face of the earth in the intervening 25 years. No state agency has ever made any attempt to track her down (that we know of) and present her with the honour that we believe is her due.

A civic reception in the Mansion House is the very least she should be offered.


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Zinedine Zidane

For the second time in four years, Ireland's hopes were sabotaged by a Frenchman's hand. Zidane it was who pulled the balls out of the bowl for the Euro 2012 draw.

Malevolently, Zidane decided to plonk our merry band of honest to goodness journeymen, who needed all the help they could get, in a group with Spain, Italy and Croatia.

We cursed Zidane at the time.

However, surfing a wave pre-tournament giddiness that would make an English tabloid reader snigger, we concluded that the Italians were vulnerable and a point was obviously the worst we could expect out of the Croatia game.

We were right the first time.

Luis Figo

Luis Figo is a particularly prolific figure at UEFA and FIFA draws, to the point where one is inclined to speculate whether it is in fact his full-time job.

My colleague here is adamant that he doesn't want Figo on-duty tomorrow. He is certain that Figo has it in for Ireland.

I tried to cite Figo's FIFA aborted campaign for the FIFA Presidency in which he argued for a 48 team World Cup, a measure designed to ensure Ireland reach the World Cup.

But, no, he is adamant that the notorious event from 2003 will mean Figo is determined to do us harm when the call comes.


Read more: The Gary Mackay Hall Of Fame

LiveScore is holding a special fan event in Dublin to debate the UEFA Champions League with a panel of Evan Ferguson, Denis Irwin & Emma Byrne, hosted by Conor McNamara

Reserve your spot for this unmissable night in The Camden on the 30th May by clicking here.

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