Republic of Ireland did not feature in a FIFA World Cup until the 1990 tournament in Italy. In their golden era under the late, great Jack Charlton, the Irish reached back-to-back competitions in ’90 and 1994. However, their appearance at the 2002 World Cup in South Korea & Japan remains their last.
Have the Republic of Ireland Ever Won the World Cup?
The Republic of Ireland have never won the World Cup.
World Cup Results
Despite participating in just three of the 21 World Cups, Republic of Ireland have got past group stage in all three of those appearances. Their first World Cup was Italia ’90, where they reached the quarter finals. In 1994 and 2002, the Boys in Green made it to the Round of 16, finishing 15th and 12th, respectively. At every tournament they have played they have won fans both on and off the pitch, despite their style of play not necessarily being one which purists would always like.
|Year||Host||Stage of Elimination (Position)||Manager||Top Scorer|
|2002||South Korea & Japan||Round of 16 (12th)||Mick McCarthy||Robbie Keane (3)|
|1994||USA||Round of 16 (15th)||Jack Charlton||John Aldridge (1) & Ray Houghton (1)|
|1990||Italy||Quarter-finals (8th)||Jack Charlton||Niall Quinn (1) & Kevin Sheedy (1)|
On the few occasions that they have qualified, Republic of Ireland have a solid record on the World Cup stage and for a nation with a small population their record is relatively good. They have progressed past the group in each of their three tournaments, finishing in the Round of 16 twice and being quarter finalists once.
Despite failing to win a game at the 1990 World Cup in Italy, which was their first appearance at a finals, Ireland shocked many by reaching the last eight. Incredibly, they netted just two goals in the tournament but qualified with England from a very tight Group F.
They drew 1-1 with both the Three Lions and the Dutch and 0-0 with Egypt to finish level with Netherlands behind England. With an absolutely identical record, Ireland and Holland went to the lottery of, well, a lottery, with Jack Charlton’s side progressing purely on the luck of the draw.
In the Round of 16 they edged past Romania via the more metaphorical lottery of penalties. The game finished 0-0 after extra time before Ireland score all five of their penalties to see off the Romanians. Ireland’s journey ultimately came to an end with a narrow 1-0 defeat to hosts Italy in a quarter final in Rome where they held their own for the most part. Their performance remains the record for getting the furthest in a World Cup without winning a single game.
Their game was very much based on sound organisation, hard work and excellent team spirit. There is no doubt that Big Jack got every last drop out of his squad and to make the quarters in their tournament debut despite only scoring two goals was some achievement.
Times Republic of Ireland Didn’t Qualify for the World Cup
The Irish supporters were made to wait a very long time to see their nation in a World Cup, with the 1990 edition in Italy being their first ever World Cup tournament. They went on to feature in two of the following three though, performing admirably once again
in both America and the far east.
The Irish did not enter the first competition in Uruguay in 1930 and failed to qualify for the next 12 World Cups. Their last appearance came in 2002 in South Korea & Japan, with Mick McCarthy at the helm.
|2014||Brazil||Giovanni Trapattoni / Noel King||10||4||2||4|
|2010||South Africa||Giovanni Trapattoni||12||4||7||1|
|1974||West Germany||Liam Tuohy||4||1||1||2|
|1970||Mexico||Charlie Hurley / Mick Meagan||6||0||1||5|