Belfast Telegraph

O'Neill talks a good game of football - the American variety - during Super Bowl

By Angela Rainey

Martin O'Neill showed sports fans that he is an expert at more than one version of football, as the Republic's manager popped up as a Super Bowl pundit on the BBC.

O'Neill was accused of "breaking the internet" after the unexpected appearance early Monday morning surprised sleepy soccer fans tuning in for the big gridiron showpiece.

Thousands took to Twitter to query whether the Kilrea man had wandered into the wrong BBC studio.

Just as surprising was the news that he had brought the whole Irish team and assistant manager Roy Keane with him to the Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, as a treat for making it to the European Championship finals. The Denver Broncos eventually beat the Carolina Panthers 24-10 to win Super Bowl 50.

Many clearly had no idea O'Neill is a massive fan of the game, while some questioned how much he really knew, thinking it was a wind-up as his headphones hung at an awkward angle.

Lee Hughes tweeted: "I reckon Roy Keane has seen enough and is outside trying to flag a taxi down to take him for a pint somewhere."

But Belfast Telegraph sports editor Steven Beacom explained: "Martin O'Neill has great knowledge about American football, and he showed it when talking to the other guests at the Belfast Telegraph sports awards.

"The Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill is also a big fan, as is Martin's assistant at the Republic of Ireland, Roy Keane.

"All three could talk for hours about it."

Belfast Telegraph


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