THE full Italia ’90 podcast series will be available this week as the final show is released this Wednesday on all good podcast apps. In total there has been 24 episodes covering stories relating to the 52 games, involving 24 countries.
The 1990 World Cup was a seminal moment for sport in Ireland as we know, but as we’ve found out, over the past month, it was a turning point for the sport around the world in countries big and small; for better, and for worse.
Of all the World Cups, this might seem a strange one to choose for such a review, as it’s remembered for being the lowest scoring in history, full of fouls, poor refereeing and bad football. But none of those points make the story less compelling.
As Michael Foley of The Sunday Times put it during our penultimate show, “It was the World Cup of bad football and great stories.”
We’ve looked at the Republic of Ireland journey through the lens of today, former Irish international John Anderson joined us on day four to talk about what it was like to play in Jack Charlton’s system. We re-examined the painful Egyptian game through modern eyes on day 10 and Philip Quinn of the Irish Daily Mail joined us on Day 14 to talk about Palermo, Holland and the media flux that surrounded Charlton’s spat with Eamon Dunphy.
For the Romania match, Vincent Hogan of the Irish Independent joined us on day 17 for an emotional trip back to Genoa and what he called ‘that perfect moment’ as David O’Leary stood up to take the kick.
In that same show, Westport United stalwart Padraig Burns took us on a typical fans journey, from camper-van stories to watching the penalties behind the goal.
And if all that wasn’t enough for you, two days later, for the Italy game review we spoke to Dunphy himself about being the man on the outside making the case for better football.
That’s just the Irish story, the best part of making this podcast has having our eyes opened to the impact of this World Cup in a soon-to-be unified Germany, a thriving Italy and an emerging England. There was the Czechoslovakian story that led us to a chat with Celtic legend, Lubo Moravcik, and unfurled an emotional picture of a nation emerging from an almost 45 years of communism lockdown and a nation losing their mind over football just like us.
‘Italia 90 - One Day at a Time’ might have been released in a short time span but is a podcast that can be listened to over the next few weeks and months at your leisure.
It includes myself, Ciaran O’Hara, Billy Joe Padden, Colin Sheridan and the aforementioned Michael Foley as we re-watch every game of that World Cup.
It has proven revealing both in terms of the stories they’ve unfurled and the memories that have come flooding back.