Fulham winger Damien Duff to captain Irish on occasion of 100th cap for his country



By Alex Byrom
Deputy Football Editor



Former Newcastle and Chelsea midfielder Duff will be wearing the armband when Ireland walk against Italy in their final match of Euro 2012


Damien Duff will captain the Republic of Ireland for the first time when he wins his 100th cap for his country against Italy in their final match of Euro 2012.

Manager Giovanni Trapattoni said that usual skipper Robbie Keane has asked for the wide midfielder to lead out the side at the Municipal Stadium in Poznan on Monday (18th June) where he will become the fifth player to achieve a century of appearances for Ireland. Keane, current number one choice goalkeeper Shay Given, defender Kevin Kilbane and ex-boss Steve Staunton are the others.

The 33 year-old Duff said: "It's something I'll maybe look back on next week, next year – I know it's a feat, but at the moment a good result tomorrow is what I want. It's an awfully proud moment – I know how much it means to myself and my family."

Trapattoni added: "All of us should express our gratitude to Damien. He is not only an excellent footballer, but is a role model and example to future generations."

The Fulham player has scored eight goals in his 99 games for Ireland, who finish their Group C campaign in the tournament against boss Trapattoni's native Italy, with no chance of progress to the quarter-finals at Poland & Ukraine following two opening defeats to Croatia and Spain.

Keane, who made his debut in the same game as Duff in 1998, said: "Damien (Duff) has been a massive player. We've been through a hell of a lot together. People speak very highly of him. We've been very good friends since we made our debut together. He will go down as one of the best players we've ever produced." 


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