Irish football is rarely assailed by confidence of any kind, but when we occasionally lapse into it we are reminded why pessimism is in our better nature: Irish pride doesn't come before a fall as much as it does a vertiginous, dizzying plunge into a bleak, dark abyss.
So while we usually prefer to luxuriate in our own lack of ambition, we have made occasional forays into this storied realm of self-esteem. To remind us, here are some of the most ludicrous claims ever made in Irish football.
"This is a very dangerous situation. I think it is so serious that...it should be a referendum issue" - Alan Hunter
Roy Keane was on the verge of a comeback for Ireland under Brian Kerr, after S****n. It was up for debate on Prime Time, with Peter Byrne and Eamon Dunphy joined by celebrity Irish fan and founder of the most unofficial official Irish supporters group in the country, Alan Hunter. As Dunphy and Byrne squabbled adjacent to him, Hunter used his disproportionate pulpit to put forward his theory that Keane's potential return could prove so divisive, and damaging to the reputation of "our country and the best fans in the world", it should be put to a referendum.
Narrator Voice: The referendum was on Irish Nationality Law instead.
"Kaka would struggle to oust Stephen Ireland from midfield" - Man City CEO Garry Cook
Kaka was coveted by the monied regime at City in January 2009, and the club had apparently agreed a £100 million fee with AC Milan for his signature, only for the Brazilian to decide against making the move at the last minute. Speaking a few months later, City's CEO Garry Cook tried to put a brave face on the bungling of the transfer, claiming that We Were Never Into Him Anyway, and that he was no better than Stephen Ireland.
Narrator Voice: Kaka moved to Real Madrid. Stephen Ireland went on to score ten further senior goals in eight years.
"We should be going to the next World Cup, aiming to win it" - Eamon Dunphy
After Greece saw off the Czech Republic in the semi-finals of Euro 2004, Eamon Dunphy used the occasion on RTE to mourn the degradation of football's spectacle at major tournaments. He did, however, divine some optimism from these prodigious Greek displays of anti-football, as it offered other football minows a chance to succeed on the world stage. He naturally found one particular outlet for hope.
Narrator Voice: We didn't qualify for the next World Cup.
"We took a risk playing in February, we're usually better in March" - Steve Staunton
In a new twist, Ireland managed to find humiliation in victory against San Marino under Stan in February 2007. Facing a baying media, Staunton dug out a classic excuse: the Earth's rotation around the Sun. Back then, the times and dates of qualifiers were organised through negotiations between the relevant football associations. Therefore, Ireland took a bit of a risk in straying from the comforting bosom of March to an unforgiving, unknown February.
Narrator Voice: Staunton was sacked a few months later. Ireland have won every competitive game played in February since 1980.
"In Ireland, there is no league" - Giovanni Trapattoni
As part of Giovanni Trapattoni's multi-faceted assault on hope, expectation and pride in Irish football, he wrote off the League if Ireland as a figment of our collective imaginations.
Narrator Voice: There is a League of Ireland, it even has teams and a trophy. Ireland went on to play at Euro 2016 with a squad filled with players who cut their teeth in the League of Ireland.