Spanish footballer Xabi Alonso has said despite his love for Ireland, he was out wreck the Republic's Euro 2012 dream during their big clash tonight in Gdansk.
The Real Madrid player spent a summer in Kells as a teenager and said he was a huge fan of the Emerald Isle, enjoying the local culture and even played some Gaelic football.
“Of course I like Ireland. I have played there one summer when I was young and I really like it,” he told the Irish Daily Star.
The former Liverpool midfielder said it was going to be difficult playing the Republic team, knowing so many of them were from the Premier League but added: “When it comes to the Irish team we’ll have to be very patient. We will have to try and score an early goal because that makes things very easy afterwards.”