herald

Monday 18 December 2017

Lovebirds turn rivals as Ireland take on Slovaks

GAME ON: Dub flies to lover's East home for match

SWEETHEARTS Magdalena and Joseph will be rivals for 90 minutes tonight when Ireland take on Slovakia in their Euro 2012 Qualifier.

The relationship between Slovak Magdalena Parajkova (28) and Irishman Joseph O'Connor (31) has been going strong for six months -- but it will briefly come under pressure during tonight's contest on the pitch at Zilina.

"If Slovakia win I will remind him for the rest of my life," joked Magdalena, as the couple are avid followers of their countries' footballing fortunes.

"If Ireland lose, I'll get an early flight home," Joseph dead-panned.

The couple flew to Slovakia earlier today after Magdalena managed to secure tickets for the game.

"We'll be in the middle of the Slovak fans though I'd rather be with the Irish. But I'm just happy we got tickets," said Joseph, a Dubliner from Beaumont who lives in Ashtown.

Travelling to Slovakia for the match has given Magdalena an opportunity to introduce her Irish boyfriend to her parents for the first time.

Cocky

"I'm a little nervous about the meeting but they don't speak English so I'm not too worried," said Joseph.

Joseph said Ireland had got "too cocky" and the Russian game had brought them down a peg. "But I'm now quietly confident of a 2-1 win for Ireland," he declared.

"No way! Slovakia will win 2-1," replied Magdalena, whose interest in her national team soared after they beat Italy.

"I'm very excited. It's my first time going to an international match," she said.

The couple said they met six months ago through a mutual friend. Magdalena has lived in Ireland for the past six years.

"Magdalena has really embraced Irish culture. She's more Irish than the Irish themselves and is certainly more Irish than some Irish people I know," said Joseph, who works for a media monitoring company.

"I love how Magdalena is always so positive and in good form. She is always smiling," said Joseph, who plays midfield and on the right wing for Elm Mount FC.

Chilled

"Joseph is also a very positive person. He is a very friendly and helpful person," said his girlfriend.

Magdalena said she likes living in Ireland because the Irish people are so "chilled out" and friendly.

Meanwhile, in Dublin, Slovakian football fans will be congregating in the city's only Czech and Slovak pub, Pifko, tonight to watch the match.

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