One tournament with two Irelands ?
It will be the first time when this countries will both play in The European Championships in football. Nobody knows what they can achieve, but it will be watched by the football fans all around the world. Especially those who want to see blood, tears and a real manly game.
My Polish team was playing against the Republic of Ireland in qualifications. We had two games. In the first we drew 1:1, in the second Poland won 2:1. These were amazing games. Ireland do not have big-salary stars like Lewandowski, but they have a team of good, equal to Premier League fighters. Shane Long can run very long distances, James McCarthy is not afraid to put his head under rivals boots, Seamus Coleman has better crosses than American roads. And there are other players who never rest, and will run until they reach a heart attack.
Ireland will play in the group E with Belgium, Italy and Sweden. These are all very talented teams. It is worthy to remember, because before rules changing (this year, first time, EURO is for 24 teams instead of 16) same participation in tournaments was a sign that you will play well. Now, it depends, but Ireland group rivals had good qualifications. Similarly to Northern Ireland surprising everybody.
They won their group, provoking bigger crisis’ in Greece after two destroying wins. Now they have to prepare for football war with Ukraine, Poland and World Champions Germany. I don’t think Northern Ireland should be afraid of any of these teams. Especially, because nobody will pressure them in their first European Championships. To achieve something they have to just play the game the way they do. Run a lot, cross balls from everywhere, have luck.
If everything would happen happily, both Irish teams can advance from their groups and play against each other in final stage. Why do not in final? Nobody knows if it will be safe for the streets, but probably better than another slow rivalisation with Spain and Germany.