Richard Dunne: I Hold No Grudges Against Thierry Henry For Handball
Former Republic of Ireland international Richard Dunne speaks out on ‘that’ infamous Thierry Henry handball.
Dunne, who was one of the Republic of Ireland’s greatest servants during the 2000s, has shared with us his thoughts on the handball that dashed Ireland’s 2010 World Cup qualification hopes.
The former Man City centre back also discussed all things Irish football with us including Seamus Coleman’s ranking among Ireland’s greatest ever, Damien Duff’s value in today’s transfer market and who he rates as the greatest Irish player of all time.
Will You Ever Forgive Henry For ‘That’ Handball?
I hold no grudges against Thierry for the handball! Things like that are just a part of football.
A few people have asked me that, and I always reply that it’s just a game of football! You’re pissed off about it at the time, but then you’re back in playing league games three days later.
It’s not something you dwell on or hold against people. It’s great to be able to blame Thierry for not qualifying, but our performance in Dublin wasn’t good enough.
Plenty of decisions go your way in football, and I don’t have a problem with Thierry for that.
It’s always good to have a villian in football to take the pressure off yourselves, but all teams have experiences like that.
I was working for ITV a few weeks ago ahead of a France vs Ireland game, and people were saying I’d never get over the handball. A few minutes before, though, they showed a clip of Diego Maradona’s handball!
Every country has those decisions, and you just have to get on with it.
Coleman Up There Among Ireland’s Greatest Ever Players
Seamus Coleman has been brilliant and he’s right up there with the very best.
Ireland’s 2002 World Cup squad had Gary Kelly, Steve Finnan, and Stephan Carr as the right-backs! They were all top players, and I think Seamus is up there. People will always put him in that bracket.
He’s been a player who has galvanized Everton at times and brought them together. Seamus has been outstanding for club and country.
Was Coleman Good Enough For Clubs Like Man United and Liverpool?
Seamus was certainly good enough to play for Liverpool or Man United. He had the chance to play for those clubs, but he chose to stay loyal to Everton.
The Toffees are a big club in their own right, despite their recent difficulty. They’ve had plenty of good times, too, and I’m sure Seamus is delighted he’s spent his career there.
Prime Seamus Coleman’s Value In Today’s Transfer Market
God knows how much a prime Seamus Coleman would be worth! I think the market has got to a point where everyone is worth £50 or £70 million!
I think Seamus would have been right up there and would have been the most expensive right-back in the Premier League no matter what the time!
He didn’t want to move and Everton didn’t want to sell him. He was more than happy to play at Everton, but I think he should be considered as one of the better right-backs in the Premier League.
Prime Damien Duff’s Value In Today’s Transfer Market
Damien Duff was one of the best in the world and not many people I speak to underrate him. He was capable of everything, even during underage football.
He used to terrorize defenders everywhere he went! He stood out at Blackburn and then Chelsea came calling. He went on to win a lot of trophies in a hugely-successful side.
You couldn’t put a price on him! He was worth £18 million in 2003, so he’d be worth the equivalent now. He was one of the best to ever play.
Chelsea’s squad back then was probably bigger than the one they currently have. The squad was organised then, and they were all unbelievable.
Damien was competing with Arjen Robben at times! That’s a huge achievement for Damien. He was so consistent.
The Greatest Irish Player Of All-Time
There are several players who could be considered Ireland’s greatest ever.
Liam Brady and Paul McGrath were outstanding. Liam Brady never got the chance to play at a major finals, but Paul managed to play in the 1990 World Cup and a few other tournaments.
He was a player I always looked up to and I considered him not only Ireland’s greatest player, but also the best one in the English First Division.
I played with Damien Duff, Roy Keane, and Robbie Keane, and they were all world-class, too.
Robbie Keane scored 68 goals for Ireland, and not many countries have a scorer with a tally like that. Robbie did it in a side that didn’t win trophies or qualify for many tournaments, too.
It’s difficult to select one as Ireland’s best ever, but those five would be up there.
Robbie Keane’s Goal Scoring Prowess
It’s crazy to see players you play with in the schoolyard go on to achieve so much! Robbie did just that.
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