Giovanni Trapattoni quits Republic of Ireland role following defeat to Austria

Italian's five-year tenure comes to an end by 'mutual consent'

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The Independent Football

Giovanni Trapattoni has left his role as head coach of Republic of Ireland following last night's defeat to Austria.

It was understood before last night's World Cup qualifier that the Italian's days were numbered, but the defeat courtesy of a late David Alaba winner in Vienna was the final nail in the coffin.

The Football Association of Ireland said the decision was agreed by "mutual consent" and the call also sees assistant Marco Tardelli depart.

The 74-year-old Italian said: "I want to thank everyone in Ireland who has given us their support during our time here which has always meant a lot to us.

"We leave this country with emotion because we understand the Irish supporters who have a well-deserved international reputation and they have our utmost respect."

He continued: "I would like to thank [FAI chief executive] John Delaney, [president] Paddy McCaul, [honorary secretary] Michael Cody and the FAI Board for their support and friendship over the last five and a half years.

"I would also want to thank all FAI staff members, including the backroom team and the players, who have been great to work with during the last three campaigns.

"I wish them well in the future and hope that the job we have done leaves everything in a good place for my successor to take over."

The defeat to Austria came hot off the heels of a 2-1 home loss to Sweden and Ireland were left needing an unlikely set of results to retain any hope of qualifying for next summer's World Cup in Brazil. Those hopes now rest on a near impossible mathematical chance.

The decision will not come as a surprise to Trapattoni, who revealed earlier this week: "I don't expect after this campaign, to go again with Ireland."

The FAI wasted little time in making its move, cancelling Trapattoni's scheduled press conference in Dublin this afternoon and confirming its Board was considering the situation a little more than an hour after the final whistle sounded at the Ernst Happel Stadion.

Delaney said: "We thank Giovanni Trapattoni, Marco Tardelli and Franco Rossi for the last five and a half years during which we qualified for our first major tournament in 10 years and were close to qualification for 2010 World Cup in South Africa after the play-off in France.

"This particular World Cup campaign has been disappointing, but Giovanni leaves us with a group of good young players which should form the basis of the squad that the new manager will use for the European Championships in France 2016 when 24 teams qualify."

Attention will now turn to who his replacement will be - with both Roy Keane and Martin O'Neill immediately in the frame.

Trapattoni, who during his long career has managed AC Milan, Juventus, Bayern Munich and Italy, took over the Ireland reins in 2008.

In his first qualification campaign, the Italian took Ireland into a play-off for the 2010 World Cup against France. The underdogs outplayed their opponents throughout the match but were beaten by a hugely controversial goal from William Gallas that was scored thanks to a hand-ball in the build-up by Thierry Henry.

To qualify for Euro 2012, Ireland again needed a play-off, but were more fortunate on that occassion, drawing lowly Estonia. Trapattoni led his side to a 5-1 aggregate win and Ireland's first major tournament since the 2002 World Cup.

However, Ireland were a major disappointment at the tournament hosted jointly by Poland and Ukraine, losing all three of the group stage matches before returning home.