Michael O’Neill is the manager of the Northern Ireland national football team for the second time.
The Football Association of Northern Ireland (IFA) has announced that O’Neill has signed a five-and-a-half-year contract. He is set to lead Northern Ireland to the 2024 European Championships.
It is the second term at the IFA for the 53-year-old. He had already successfully coached Northern Ireland from December 2011 to April 2020. He led the team to the finals of EURO 2016 and Northern Ireland reached the round of 16 at the tournament in France. O’Neill and his side narrowly missed Russia 2018 as Northern Ireland lost to Switzerland in the playoffs.
At the end of 2019, O’Neill also became coach of the English second division club Stoke City. Actually, he was supposed to look after the Northern Irish in the knockout games for the European Championship qualification and ideally lead them to the tournament. However, because of the corona pandemic and the associated postponement of the European Championship, he resigned from his position prematurely.
O’Neill’s successor, Ian Baraclough, who is now his predecessor, was sacked in October after Northern Ireland won just four of 22 competitive games under him. O’Neill lost his job at Stoke City in August because his side had won just one of their first five games of the season.