- Home Page
- Other Sports
- Balls of Fame
- Tip Us Off
Graham Hunter Provides Some Spanish Perspective On Shay Given’s Retirement From International Football
Spain won’t let the international retirement of Shay Given pass unnoticed. Perhaps, sometimes, it feels in Ireland that the world isn’t fully taking notice of the boys in green unless it’s in glorious defeat and the fans are taking everybody’s breath away by putting defiant loyalty into song.
I’ve spoken to some of the Spain players who found Ireland such a thorny opponent in 2002 and Given’s redoubtability was praised. Nor is his part in that 3-2 defeat of a Barca side containing Rivaldo, Luis Enrique and Figo forgotten either in Catalunya, where there was embarrassment, or Madrid where there were celebrations.
From a personal point of view perhaps the only thing Shay lacked was a sense of timing in when to leave or sign for a club which matched his sense of split-second reactions to shot stopping and one on one blocks.
A top, top professional with bundles of talent whose medal haul should be far higher than it is – Spain rates Shay Given and will salute the closing of this chapter in his career.