Republic of Ireland assistant manager Marco Tardelli hopes that James McClean can make an impact on the upcoming European Championship like Paolo Rossi did with Italy in the 1982 World Cup.
McClean, 23, played his way into Giovanni Trapattoni’s 23-man squad for the summer tournament in Poland and Ukraine with a series of impressive Premier League displays for Sunderland.
Tardelli won the World Cup in Spain in 1982 alongside Rossi, who won the Golden Boot for finishing as the tournament’s top scorer with six goals, including a hat-trick against Brazil.
“It’s a good opportunity," the former Juventus midfielder told reporters in Dublin.
"I remember when I was a player, Paolo Rossi was the new player and the surprise in the group, he played very well. I hope McClean plays well for us. It will be a very good experience for him.”
Tardelli added that qualifying for the tournament brings back some fond memories from his playing days.
“I am very excited because [it’s] like when I was young. We think our group is very hard because of the ranking of these teams but it’s possible [to cause a surprise],” said Tardelli.