Marcello Lippi has said the work begins now for Italy's defence of their title after finishing their qualification campaign with a surprising fightback.
Giovanni Trapattoni is confident his Republic of Ireland side can make it through the play-offs to qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa.
Bulgaria ended their campaign with a 6-2 victory over Group 8 tailenders Georgia in Vaduz, with star man Dimitar Berbatov scoring a hat-trick.
Switzerland and Slovakia seized Europe's last two automatic berths in South Africa, while Portugal, Greece, Slovenia and Ukraine made the play-offs.
Italy trailed 2-0 at home to Cyprus, but Alberto Gilardino scored three times in the last 15 minutes to complete a 3-2 victory for the world champions.
Republic of Ireland dominated possession at home to Montenegro, but the Group 8 runners-up had to settle for their sixth draw in ten qualifiers.