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Stephen Ireland On His Football Manager Obsession And Making It Into The Game

Stephen Ireland On His Football Manager Obsession And Making It Into The Game
By Colman Stanley Updated
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While most know Stephen Ireland for his controversial behaviour at international level, or his peak footballing days with Man City, one of his favourite hobbies shows a more personal and down to earth side to the former midfielder.

In a recent interview - in association with Ladbrokes - he discussed his love for the ever popular Football Manager computer game series, his go-to signings in the game, and his delight when he was finally included.

"I love Football Manager, it's my favourite game - I'm literally obsessed with it," began Ireland. "I know Miles Jacobsen who makes it, he sends it over to me early; every time I get that email from him I'm like a kid at Christmas, rubbing my hands. It's very detailed these days, but the great manager I am, it's no problem for me!

"If I was always Bruno Fernandes' go-to signing on the game, then mine - in the last few years - would be Lautaro Martinez from Inter Milan. We've got a great relationship, me and him. I take him everywhere I go. He's my guy.

I'm a wonderkid kind of guy, though. I won't me Googling who the wonderkids are, I prefer to go out and find them myself. I'm a hidden gem kind of guy; I'll go to Uruguay, find a kid and turn him into something mental.

"It's the greatest game on the planet; my kids won't have it, it's all FIFA this and FIFA that for them. They've got no idea. I love it; it comes out and you start a new career, spend about two hours playing the thing and you've not even got to your first friendly. But I love it."

Stephen Ireland And His Love For Football Manager

24 March 2007; The Republic of Ireland's Stephen Ireland rounds the Welsh goalkeeper Daniel Coyne to score for the first goal. 2008 European Championship Qualifier, Republic of Ireland v Wales, Croke Park, Dublin. Photo by Sportsfile *** Local Caption ***
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"It was a great moment when I finally made it onto the game, I'm not going to lie," continued Ireland. "There was a time for the first two or three years where - and I'm not saying I was a wonderkid - I should've been in the game.

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"My teammates were but I never was, and I'd just be losing my mind wondering what on earth was going on. I was there or thereabout in our academy as one of the main players, but I never, ever, made the game. It was my dream to be on it, and some of my teammates - who were terrible - were somehow on it ahead of me.

"When I finally made it onto Football Manager, it was class - my mates were all sending me pictures and all of that sort of stuff. I'd never buy myself, though. Miles, the creator, always did me dirty, though.

"He never gave me a good rating. I used to be insulted, to be honest; he'd stick my pace at something like eight out of 20. Even in my best season, he was still putting my pace at eight. Ridiculous."

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SEE ALSO: Stephen Ireland Recalls Bizarre Approach Roberto Mancini Had With Players At Man City

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