The Republic of Ireland and manager Giovanni Trapattoni have parted ways by mutual consent on Wednesday following a disappointing World Cup qualifying campaign.
After losing 1-0 to Austria on Tuesday, the Republic now only have a mathematical chance of qualification, with Trapattoni conceding that qualification is now 'extremely unlikely'.
Widely anticipated to lose his job following a statement from the Football Association of Ireland saying they would 'consider his position', Trapattoni released this statement to the Irish fans:
"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.
"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. I would like to thank John Delaney, Paddy Mc Caul, Michael Cody and the FAI Board for their support and friendship over the last five and a half years.
"I would also want to thank all FAI staff members, including the backroom team and the players who have been great to work with during the last three campaigns.
"I wish them well in the future and hope that the job we have done leaves everything in a good place for my successor to take over."
The FAI Chief Executive John Delaney added:
"We thank Giovanni Trapattoni, Marco Tardelli and Fausto Rossi for the last five and a half years during which we qualified for our first major tournament in ten years and were close to qualification for 2010 World Cup in South Africa after the play-off in France.
"This particular World Cup campaign has been disappointing but Giovanni leaves us with a group of good young players which should form the basis of the squad that the new manager will use for the European Championships in France 2016 when 24 teams qualify."
Trapattoni is widely expected to be succeeded by former Northern Ireland international Martin O'Neill, who is currently unemployed following spells with Celtic, Aston Villa and Sunderland.
Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: http://gms.to/130seMa
DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.