Having accrued numerous honours during nearly five decades in football Giovanni Trapatonni still remains active and at 68 is currently relishing the challenge of ensuring that Austrian outfit, SV Red Bull Salzburg, retained the championship title they won the previous season when Lothar Matthaus was his assistant.
The Italian supremo heralded his arrival to Austria by securing the national title in his first season and with the support of the wealthy club owner, Dietrich Mateschitz, who also happens to be the founder of Red Bull, the richest club in the country are expected to retain the title this season after the end of the winter break.
Trapatonni’s coaching career spans over three decades and has managed eight different teams - Juventus, Inter, Bayern Munich, Cagliari, Fiorentina, Benfica, Stuttgart and Salzburg - wining 23 trophies in all. Amidst these are ten championship titles spread over four different countries of which seven league triumphs came during his time in Italy.
In Germany he won a Bundesliga title with Bayern Munich in 1997 and another title in Portugal with Benfica in 2005.
In terms of records Trapatonni lies third on the all-time European list alongside Austrian coach Ernst Happel and the 23 trophies place him behind two Scots, Sir Alex Ferguson and Jock Stein who each have 26.
Amidst all the glory and success there are a couple of less glorious moments on the exceptional CV the major one being his time managing Italy between 2000 and 2004. Beaten in the Round of 16 at the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea/Japan Italy went one worse at the EURO 2004 when they exited in the first round in Portugal.
His second time at Bayern Munich was more controversial than the previous stint but winning the league title spared his reputation after a fall out with some key players at the club. Years later he returned to Germany but with Stuttgart and all ended after eight months when Stuttgart won only five games in 20 matches in 2005.
The club president at the time of his departure at Vfb Stuttgart said "Giovanni Trapatonni is an absolute gentleman and one of the most successful trainers in the world. Nevertheless, his work with the team has not been as efficient and successful as we had hoped."
When the Republic of Ireland were drawn in the same qualifying group as Italy for the 2010 Word Cup in South Africa it must have been appealing to Trapatonni to take on his country of birth.
Born on St Patricks Day the trip to South Africa should have been a fairy tale finish. However it was not to be..