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Giovanni Trapattoni has parted company with the Republic of Ireland after failing to guide the nation to next summer's World Cup finals in Brazil.
A 1-0 defeat in Austria on Tuesday evening left Ireland with only a purely mathematical possb ibility of overhauling Sweden to snatch second place in Group C, and, after meeting with the Football Association of Ireland, Trapattoni and assistant Marco Tardelli have left by mutual consent.
The 74-year-old Italian said: "I want to thank everyone in Ireland who has given us their support during our time here which has always meant a lot to us.
"We leave this country with emotion because we understand the Irish supporters who have a well-deserved international reputation and they have our utmost respect."
He continued: "I would like to thank [FAI chief executive] John Delaney, [president] Paddy McCaul, [honorary secretary] Michael Cody and the FAI Board for their support and friendship over the last five and a half years.
"I would also want to thank all FAI staff members, including the backroom team and the players, who have been great to work with during the last three campaigns.
"I wish them well in the future and hope that the job we have done leaves everything in a good place for my successor to take over."
The FAI wasted little time in making its move, cancelling Trapattoni's scheduled press conference in Dublin on Wednesday afternoon and confirming its Board was considering the situation a little more than an hour after the final whistle sounded at the Ernst Happel Stadion.
Delaney said: "We thank Giovanni Trapattoni, Marco Tardelli and Franco Rossi for the last five and a half years during which we qualified for our first major tournament in 10 years and were close to qualification for 2010 World Cup in South Africa after the play-off in France.
"This particular World Cup campaign has been disappointing, but Giovanni leaves us with a group of good young players which should form the basis of the squad that the new manager will use for the European Championships in France 2016 when 24 teams qualify."
Trapattoni was appointed Ireland manager in February 2008 as the FAI, with the financial assistance of businessman Denis O'Brien, made a bold move in an attempt to revive the nation's footballing fortunes.
The vastly-experienced manager, who had won league titles in four different countries, was recruited at huge expense - his first contract was worth around two million Euros a year - and charged with the task of making the Republic competitive once again.
Initially, he did just that, steering them into the play-offs for the 2010 World Cup finals only for France to progress with the help of Thierry Henry's infamous handball.
Trapattoni went one better two years later when Ireland booked their place in the Euro 2012 finals in Poland and Ukraine after defeating Estonia in another play-off.
But while the opening four years of his reign might have been largely successful in terms of results, his critics grew increasingly weary of his slavish devotion to a system which relied heavily on organisation and control rather than flair, and when that began to fail, the knives were out.
The manager very nearly lost his job in October last year after his side was routed 6-1 by Germany at the Aviva Stadium hot on the heels of a pointless campaign at the Euros.
Having only just survived, he set about the task of blooding a new generation of internationals in the hope of adding greater variety to his side.
However, Ireland's chances of making it to Brazil - and by association, his of extending his stay further - were always likely to depend on this month's double-header against Sweden and Austria, and a return of no points from six when his own target had been four proved fatal.
Giovanni Trapattoni factfile
1939: Born, March 17 in Cusano Milanino.
1959: Signed as a defender by AC Milan.
1962: Wins first Scudetto as a player with AC Milan.
1963: Part of the AC Milan side which wins the European Cup for the first time with a 2-1 win over Benfica.
1960: Represents the Italian football team at the Olympics in Rome.
1962: Plays for Italy at the World Cup in Chile.
1967: Wins Serie A and Coppa Italia double with AC Milan.
1968: Lifts European Cup Winners' Cup with AC Milan.
1969: Collects second European Cup winners medal with AC Milan.
1971: Makes last of 387 professional appearances for AC Milan before he signed for lower league side AS Varese.
1972: Retires from playing.
1974: Appointed youth team coach at AC Milan.
1975: Made AC Milan first-team coach and his team finish as runners-up in the Coppa Italia.
1976: Appointed Juventus coach.
1977: Steers Juventus to a Serie A and UEFA Cup double.
1978: Claims consecutive Serie A title with Juventus.
1979: Juventus win Coppa Italia.
1981: Wins third league title with Juventus.
1982: Delivers fourth Serie A title as Juventus boss.
1983: Wins second Coppa Italia for Juventus.
1984: Takes fifth Serie A title to Turin and wins the European Cup Winners Cup with a 2-1 win over FC Porto in Basel.
1985: Manages Juventus to a 1-0 European Cup victory over Liverpool but the match is overshadowed by disaster off the pitch at the Heysel Stadium.
1986: Wins sixth Serie A title with Juventus before he returning to Milan to manage Inter Milan.
1989: Inter win Serie A title under Trapattoni.
1991: Guides Inter to a 2-1 aggregate UEFA Cup final victory over Roma before he returns for a second spell at Juventus.
1994: Finishes twice as Serie A runners-up with Juventus before leaving to join Bayern Munich.
1995: Returns to Serie A for a brief period in charge of Cagliari.
1996: Second spell with Bayern Munich.
1997: Leads Bayern to Bundesliga title.
1998: Bayern finish runners-up in the Bundesliga but win the domestic cup.
June: Returns to Serie A to manage Fiorentina.
2000: Replaces Dino Zoff as Italy manager.
2002: Leads Italy to the World Cup in Japan and South Korea. Italy suffer a surprise second-round exit at the hands of South Korea. Trapattoni is blamed for an overly-defensive brand of football and not taking Roberto Baggio.
2004: June: Italy are knocked out of Euro 2004 in Portugal at the group stage on goal difference after draws against Denmark and Sweden and a victory over Bulgaria.
July: Contract with Italian FA not renewed and Trapattoni is named coach of Benfica.
2005: Ends Benfica's 11-year wait for the Portuguese league title but resigns at the end of the season to take the coach's position at Stuttgart.
2006: February: Sacked by Stuttgart after 20 games in charge.
May: Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg appoint Trapattoni as director of football with former Germany international Lothar Matthaus as first-team coach.
2008: February 11 - Agrees in principle to take over as Republic of Ireland manager.
May 28 - First game in charge is a 1-1 draw with Serbia.
2009: September: Signs a new contract through to 2012.
November 18 - Presides over the World Cup play-off loss to France, which is decided after Thierry Henry's handball controversy.
2011: Guides Ireland to Euro 2012 with a play-off win over Estonia.
2012: Given a new two-year contract.
June - Ireland disappoint at Euro 2012, losing group games to Spain, Italy and Croatia.
October - Ireland lose a World Cup qualifier 6-1 to Germany.
2013: September 11 - After back-to-back defeats against Sweden and Austria leave the Republic out of contention to qualify for the 2014 World Cup, Trapattoni leaves his post as Republic manager. His departure is by "mutual consent", the Football Association of Ireland announce.