Irish back in the Euro's after a long wait
It's been 24 years since Ireland last qualified for a European Championships, but under boss Giovanni Trapattoni the Republic of Ireland have made themselves a reputable outfit, only losing twice in his 24 games in charge.
Despite finishing as runners-up behind Russia in their qualification group, Trapattoni's men made short work of Estonia in the play-offs, reaching their first major tournament in 10 years.
Ireland will be buoyed by the fact they are unbeaten in three matches under Trapattoni against Group C rivals Italy, the county of his birth.
Star Man - Robbie Keane
LA Galaxy forward Robbie Keane has the unique achievement of being the first player from the British Isles to reach 50 international goals, an accolade he picked up during qualifying, where he bagged seven goals in total.
As he proved in his loan spell back to the Premier League with Aston Villa this season, Keane has picked up the ability to drop into deeper positions and dictate play when required.
At 31 he’s arguably past his very best, although he still has the quality to get among the goals this summer, especially as Ireland's penalty taker.
One to Watch - James McClean
Considering the fact that James McClean didn't even make his first Premier League appearance until December, the Irish winger has certainly enjoyed a meteoric rise.
That culminated in international recognition and he has given boss Giovanni Trapattoni quite a selection dilemma.
McClean possesses, pace, skill and an end product, meaning Aiden McGeady's place is well and truly under threat.
Although McClean not a confirmed starter for Ireland, he's certainly capable of breaking into the first 11 and continuing what has been a fantastic year for him so far.
Goals scored in qualifying: 15 in 10 games
Goals conceded in qualifying: Seven
Top scorer: Seven – Keane
Most assists: Three – McGeady
Most attempts on target: 13 – Keane