Ireland continues to produce top-notch talent in different areas and industries. Whether it’s world-renowned actors such as Liam Neeson, composed casino players like Andy Black whose expertise lies in poker games similar to the online versions found on a live casino Ireland, and also athletes dominating their respective sports – which is our topic for today. Sport is one of the most important parts of Irish culture, as hometown heroes create iconic moments that echo through the annals of history. Despite being such a small nation, Ireland is home to many sporting icons, past and present. Although some players have retired, one still feels a sense of enjoyment looking back on their careers, let’s take a look at some of them.
One of Ireland’s greatest footballers of the modern generation, Roy Keane was an imperious player both on and off the pitch for Ireland and Manchester United. Born in Cork, he started his career at Cobh Ramblers before signing for Nottingham Forest. However, fans remember his time at Manchester United best, being a key part of Sir Alex Ferguson’s dominant side. During his time, he won one Champions League trophy, seven Premier League titles, and four F. A. Cups. Keane moved to Celtic in 2005 before announcing his retirement six months later on medical grounds.
While Keane is considered a modern icon, George Best became an Irish footballing legend when he starred for Manchester United in the 60s and 70s. Born in Belfast, Best is arguably the greatest footballer to come out of Ireland and was a charismatic influence in all areas of his life. During his time at Manchester United, he won two league titles, one European Cup and the 1968 Ballon d’Or. His fast lifestyle on and off the pitch earned him an enigmatic reputation, which, along with his talent, cemented him as one of Ireland’s all-time greats.
One of the greatest Irish golfers of his generation, if not all time, Rory McIlroy is a force on the PGA Tour. The world #1 has spent over 100 weeks at the top spot throughout his career and has won many professional events. So far, he has totaled 35 professional wins, including four majors; the PGA Championship in 2012 and 2014, the US Open in 2011, and The Open Championship in 2014.
Often known as “Mystic Mac,” the man from Dublin put Ireland on the map in the MMA world with a series of stunning wins over high-ranked opponents. He won the interim UFC Featherweight Championship belt in his sixth fight with the franchise. He gained the belt in his next fight, knocking out reigning champ Jose Aldo in 13 seconds. He then became the first to hold two concurrent UFC belts after beating Eddie Alvarez by TKO to win the UFC Lightweight Championship.
While McGregor was tearing up trees in the world of MMA, Katie Taylor was creating a legacy as arguably Ireland’s greatest-ever sportsperson. Not only is Katie a world-class boxer, but she also had a promising career as a professional footballer. She made eleven appearances for the ROI national team, scoring two goals. Later Taylor moved her focus to box, where she won 18 gold medals as an amateur, including Olympic gold at the 2012 games. She currently has an astonishing record of 22-0 in her professional boxing career at the time of writing and has dominated the sport for over a decade.
As you can see, Ireland has a rich history of iconic sports stars, and there are plenty more that we haven’t cited. Sports are also continuously evolving and in the near future we may also need to add modern online sports Irish players to this list like those competing in E-sports Tournaments. Who will be the next Irish superstar to get their name on this list?