In July 1998, Brian Kerr and Noel O'Reilly brought a team of Irish teenagers that included Robbie Keane, Richard Dunne and Stephen McPhail to Cyprus for the U18 European championships. Amazingly, Ireland won that tournament, beating Germany in the final. It is arguably the greatest achievement in the history of Irish football and should be celebrated as long as Irish people are celebrating achievements on the sporting field.
On this day in 1998, Ireland defeated Germany in penalties to win the tournament. Robbie Keane provided an incredible assist for Ireland's first goal. After Germany equalised in injury time, Ireland hung on for a famous win in penalties.
That said, it is impossible not to look back on the Sportsfile photographs of that momentous fortnight 24 years ago, without seeing the trip for what it truly was: the greatest lads holiday in the history of Irish lads holidays. Whatever about the football that was played, the trip to Cyprus included all of the essential elements of a memorable lads holiday.
Below we present the various aspects of that trip to Ayia Napa which set a benchmark for all Irish football tournaments, and all future Irish lads holidays.
Swimming pool hijinks in the day
Swimming pool hijinks in the night
Sun's out guns out
Stephen McPhail used the Cyprian heat as an opportunity to display his Irish pride.
Quality time with just the lads
JUST. THE. LADS.
You don't head to a discotechque in a resort without a secret dance.
Beating the locals in football
Nothing beats turning up in a foreign place and beating the local lads in football. Here's Liam George in Ireland's win over Cyprus.
The chaperones were decent
There was even down time with your mam
You didn't have to spend all day with her or anything.
Most importantly, there were plenty of opportunities to celebrate