01 June 2010 | News

Ardiles and Hamann join RTÉ for World Cup

Argentine World Cup winner Ossie Ardiles, and former German international Dietmar Hamann, have been added to RTÉ's squad of pundits for the 2010 World Cup.

Ardiles and Hamann will join regular RTÉ analysts John Giles, Eamon Dunphy, Graeme Souness, Ronnie Whelan, Richie Sadlier, Liam Brady and Denis Irwin.

Speaking at the launch of RTÉ’s World Cup coverage, Ardiles, a World Cup winner with Argentina in 1978, has said he is 'very disappointed' with Argentina's squad for South Africa.

'We'll have to wait and see. In qualifiers, Argentina did not play well, so Lionel Messi did not play well. And relations between Messi and [Argentina manager] Diego Maradona are just okay.'

Ardiles, who played for Tottenham Hotspur between 1978 and 1988, said he is particularly disappointed at the omission of Juan Riquelme, whom he described as 'one of the best players in the world'.

Ardiles also jokingly referred to Maradona as 'the best manager in the world'.

Dietmar Hamann, who played in the 2002 World Cup Final, said he does not think the current German team will be good enough to win in South Africa.

'They have a never-say-die attitude, and seem to get better in tournament the further they get, but I don't think they're good enough this year. It would have been tough with [Michael] Ballack, but it's a lot tougher without him.

'Five or six teams are better equipped than Germany, and I think the Dutch are dark horses.'

Former Republic of Ireland assistant manager Liam Brady said he has mixed feelings in the run-up to the tournament: 'We're being constantly reminded about the France game, so for that reason it's difficult to look forward to the World Cup. But once it starts I know I'll get well and truly into it.'

And Brady, who has tipped Holland to win, says France could actually do well in South Africa: 'They could have a good competition if they can find the team spirit which was lacking in the qualifiers.'

Brady says it's that same team spirit that manager Giovanni Trapattoni has brought to the Republic of Ireland team, which he now believes is 'very hard to beat'.

Eamon Dunphy, who fancies Brazil to win the tournament, says England will 'punch above their weight this time'.

On the dynamics of the RTÉ panel, Dunphy promised: 'If there are any rows between the panel during the World Cup, and if one of my fellow panellists says to put our medals on the table, then I'll have to go home!'

Ronnie Whelan and Richard Sadlier have both tipped Spain to win the World Cup.

Anchorman Bill O’Herlihy has gone for England.