Northern Ireland national football team
Northern Ireland national football team represents Northern Ireland in international association football.
Manager: Michael O’Neill
Association: Irish Football Association
Arena/Stadium: Windsor Park
Captain: Steven Davis
Head coach: Michael O’Neill
Despite some memorable wins, Northern Ireland had never sent a team to the finals of the UEFA European Championship until now, previously coming closest in the 1984 qualifying series when they beat holders West Germany home and away. In contrast there have been three appearances at the FIFA World Cup, the first in 1958 resulting in a quarter-final appearance and the second, in 1982, featuring a famous 1-0 win over hosts Spain. Like all-time top marksman David Healy, the great George Best sadly never graced a major tournament. The current crop, under manager Michael O’Neill, will get that opportunity to shine on the big stage in France.
Northern Ireland Euro 2016 Squad
Coach: Michael O’Neill
Goalkeepers: Goalkeepers: Michael McGovern (Hamilton), Roy Carroll (Notts County), Alan Mannus (St Johnstone)
Defenders: Craig Cathcart (Watford), Gareth McAuley (West Brom), Jonny Evans (West Brom), Luke McCullough (Doncaster), Aaron Hughes (Melbourne), Conor McLaughlin (Fleetwood), Lee Hodson (MK Dons), Paddy McNair (Manchester United)
Midfielders: Shane Ferguson (Millwall), Stuart Dallas (Leeds), Steven Davis (Southampton), Oliver Norwood (Reading), Chris Baird (Derby), Corry Evans (Blackburn), Niall McGinn (Aberdeen), Josh Magennis (Kilmarnock)
Forwards: Kyle Lafferty (Norwich), Jamie Ward (Nottingham Forest), Conor Washington (Queens Park Rangers), Will Grigg (Wigan)
Best result: never previously qualified
Coach: Michael O’Neill
Leading scorers: all-time – David Healy (36); current – Kyle Lafferty (16)
Most appearances: all-time – Pat Jennings (119); current – Aaron Hughes (96)
Association formed: 1880
Nickname: Norn Iron
Where they play: Windsor Park, Belfast
Northern Ireland national football team jersey
Northern Ireland first entered the UEFA European Championship ahead of the 1964 finals, beating Poland 4-0 on aggregate before losing out to eventual winners Spain. Billy Bingham’s side overcame West Germany 1-0 in Belfast and Hamburg during qualifying for the 1984 edition – only to be pipped to qualification by the Germans on goal difference.
Fans also got a run for their money during the UEFA EURO 2008 campaign when Healy’s prolific strike rate helped them to memorable home wins against eventual champions Spain (3-2), Sweden (2-1) and Denmark (2-1), but Northern Ireland could only finish third in their pool. Under Nigel Worthington they started UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying brightly, a 1-0 win in Slovenia and a 0-0 draw with eventual group winners Italy raising hopes, but the campaign ended in disappointment. A frustrating 1-1 draw in the Faroe Islands and a 4-1 defeat by Estonia in Tallinn did much of the damage.