Reliving Italia ’90 was a great adventure

The full Italia ’90 One Day at a Time podcast series is now available, with the final episode having gone online earlier today. In total, the series comprises 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 last 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 one might seem a strange one 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 a world Cup of bad football and great stories.”

We’ve looked at the Republic of Ireland journey through the lens of today, former international John Anderson joined us on Day 4 to talk about what it was like to play in Jack Charlton’s system. We re-examined the painful Egypt 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 spat 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 special moment” as David O’Leary stood up to take the decisive penalty kick.

In that same show Westport United stalwart Padraig Burns took us on a typical fan’s journey, from camper van stories to watching the penalties up in the stand behind the goal.

And if that wasn’t enough for you, two days later for the Italy game review, we spoke with Eamon 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 series was, though, having our eyes opened to the impact of this World Cup on 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 and emotional picture of a nation emerging from almost 45 years of a communist lockdown, a nation losing its mind about football, just like us.

Italia ’90 – One Day at a Time might have been released in a short timespan but is a podcast that can listened to at your leisure over the next few weeks or months.

It includes myself, Ciaran O’Hara, Billy Joe Padden, Colin Sheridan and the aforementioned Michael Foley, as we re-watch every single game of that world Cup.

It has proved revealing for us, in terms of the stories unfurled and the many memories that have come flooding back.

All 24 episodes of the Italia ’90 – One Day at a Time podcast series are available here. The final episode, which focuses on the decider between West Germany and Argentina and looks back over the whole series, is available to listen to here on the blog using the player below.

A version of this article first appeared in this week’s edition of the Mayo News – here.

6 thoughts on “Reliving Italia ’90 was a great adventure

  1. Jesus, its 30 years ago now, yet when watching the 1988 and 1990 highlights on TV a few weeks ago it all seemed very near again.
    It may be a long time again before the Rep of Ireland get to the second round at a major tournament.

  2. Wow … 30 years . Great excitement at the time
    .At the moment I’d rather watch my local junior B team play a challenge match than go back and watching old soccer matches.

  3. This is really good. I listened to most of the episodes. Excellent analysis on the state of the world just before the break up of the eastern block.

    Well done to all involved.

  4. Brings back so many memories of Italia 90. Was there for the 1st 3 matches and the craic , to quote Christy Moore, was 91. The football for the most part was not great but who cared as we were so lucky to experience it all. Now the news of Big Jack’s passing and on the 30th anniversary as well . So sad. RIP Jack.

  5. Remarkable the coincidence…The passing of the Great Jack Charlton, RIP, a man with an affinity with Mayo (he once owned a house in Ballina) and the Mayo GAA Blog posting this article on Italia 90, just day’s before the Great Man’s Passing.. Jack will be remembered with great affection by all sports fans in Ireland, and certainly by Mayo GAA fan’s old enough to remember… Those not old enough to remember, might find it hard to believe the effect he and his team had on the entire Nation.. Magical Day’s and Magical Memories!.. Thanks to Jack Ireland’s favorite English Man!

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