Tasnim – DUBLIN, Shay Given remembers Republic of Ireland having to overcome 100,000 Iranian fans the last time they qualified for a World Cup.
He was part of the Ireland team that beat Iran to book a place at the 2002 finals.
“I could not sleep the night before the match in Tehran. I’m still awake at 4 o’clock in the morning so I had to go and see Mick Byrne, the physio and get a sleeping tablet off him. He gave me two sleeping tablets. I just couldn’t sleep,” Given told the Irish Sun.
“The harder I tried, the worse I was getting and then the walk in the morning got binned and then I woke up at lunchtime or something for pre-match but the atmosphere out there [in Tehran], they were out there five hours before the game,” he added.
“In two matches against Iran, I’d a couple of big saves especially one in the second half of the first leg down to my left and then I think after about 70 minutes out there [in Tehran], there were 100,000 men, it was like a mad atmosphere. There might’ve been only 100 Irish fans there and it was basically the noise we were making on the pitch,” the former Newcastle United goalie concluded.