Giovanni Trapattoni thanks Republic of Ireland fans

Trapattoni thanks Ireland fans
© Getty Images
Giovanni Trapattoni praises the support of the Republic of Ireland's fans after stepping down as manager of the national team.

Giovanni Trapattoni has paid tribute to the Republic of Ireland's fans after stepping down as manager of the national team.

The Italian left his role by mutual consent on Wednesday following a five-year spell in charge of the side.

"I want to thank everyone in Ireland who has given us their support during our time here which has always meant a lot to us," Trapattoni, 74, is quoted as saying by BBC Sport.

"We leave this country with emotion because we understand the Irish supporters who have a well-deserved international reputation and they have our utmost respect."

Former Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill is the early favourite to replace Trapattoni.

Republic of Ireland's Manager Giovanni Trapattoni before the start of the match with Georgia during a International friendly match between the Republic of Ireland and Georgia at the Aviva Stadium on June 2, 2013
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