England boss Roy Hodgson is looking forward to renewing acquaintances with old friend Giovanni Trapattoni on Wednesday when the Three Lions take on the Republic of Ireland.
Hodgson has been friends with the Trapattoni since his Malmo side triumphed over the Italian’s Inter in the 1989 European Cup, and the two will now meet as international adversaries.
“We go back a long way. I regard him as a friend and I am a great admirer of his,” the England boss told reporters.
“His CV and what he has achieved, not least in his playing career, is second to none. I know his team will be well organised, competitive and very well prepared for the game.
“We are ready for that, but we are friends before the game and we will be friends after.”
Following Wednesday’s friendly clash, England face a trip to Brazil to take on next year’s World Cup hosts and Hodgson is keen to get a good look at his side ahead of the tournament.
“This is a group of players I am really looking forward to seeing in matches, having had a chance to work with them in training,” he added.
“With it being a small group they will all get a reasonable amount of time. If you are splitting the playing time people get less time on the field."