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The NFL has only played one game ever in Ireland, and one of the teams involved in that game, the Pittsburgh Steelers, is hoping that the league will soon be making a return to the country. 

The Steelers' director of business development and strategy, Daniel Rooney, revealed Thursday that Pittsburgh is interested in playing a game in Ireland after the NFL granted the team international marketing rights in the country this week. 

"Our aspirations long term are to play a game in Ireland," Rooney said, via the Associated Press. "As we move through the process, we'll be evaluating all options."

Rooney was in Ireland on Thursday with former Steelers star Kordell Stewart to celebrate the team's partnership with the Emerald Isle. One reason the Steelers were granted marketing rights to the country is because of the team's close ties to the region. For one, former Steelers chairman, Daniel M. Rooney, once served as the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland (2009-12). Also, the Steelers are one of just two teams to play a game in the country. Back in July 1997, the Steelers beat the Bears 30-17 in a preseason game that was played at Dublin's Croke Park.

To this day, that still stands as the only NFL game ever played in Ireland. The Steelers were given a Waterford Crystal trophy for winning that game, a reward that the team still keeps at its practice facility. 

With so many ties, Ireland felt like a natural fit for the Steelers. 

"When the opportunity arose for NFL teams to become more active in countries outside of the U.S., the Steelers could not have been more excited to re-establish the traditions my grandfather so proudly established here in Ireland, as well as bring new ones," Rooney said, via the team's website

Although the Steelers would like to play a game in Ireland, it's not clear when that would happen. As far as regular-season games go, the country doesn't seem to be on the NFL's radar right now, which means the Steelers will likely be waiting a few years. 

Patriots owner Robert Kraft mentioned in January 2018 that he would like to see his team play a game in Germany, and five years later, that's finally going to happen. If the NFL sticks to a similar timeline, that means the Steelers likely wouldn't play a game in Ireland until 2028 at the earliest. 

The NFL could always put a preseason game there, but the league has been shying away from international preseason games. Over the past 12 years, there's only been one, and that came in 2019 when the Raiders played the Packers in Winnipeg, Canada. The last time a preseason game was held outside of North America came back in August 2005 when the Falcons played the Colts in Tokyo.