Ireland signs Trapattoni to two-year extension

Ireland signed coach Giovanni Trapattoni to year contract extension Tuesday to remain manager of the national team through the 2014 World Cup.

The 72-year-old Trapattoni became manager in 2008 and after narrowly missing a berth in the 2010 World Cup, recently helped Ireland qualify for the Euro 2012 finals.

"I am very happy to continue my job with the FAI," said Trapattoni. "I believe very strongly in the work that we are doing to grow and develop the Irish team.

"It is a huge honor and a privilege to represent the Irish team."

Ireland last played in a major international tournament in the 2002 World Cup, when it finished second in its group behind eventual runner-up Germany and was defeated in the round of 16 in penalty kicks by Spain.

The country was only denied a World Cup spot in 2010 when it lost a playoff to France on the controversial handball by Thierry Henry, but Ireland was second in its 2012 Euro qualifying group and won a playoff against Estonia.

Ireland will learn its Euro 2012 group opponents Friday. The country was drawn into a 2014 World Cup qualifying group with Germany, Sweden, Austria, Faroe Island and Kazakhstan.