The vastly experienced 73-year-old managed his native Italy and has won league titles at home and in Germany, Portugal and Austria, and under his guidance, the Republic have made impressive strides.
However, as he and his players flew out of Dublin for their pre-tournament training camp in Montecatini, he was adamant that all that matters now is the future and his ability to move with the times.
Trapattoni said: "I have had many opportunities in the past also because I played in finals as a player.
"But that is the past. It is important that I show everyone I am still useful. That's what is important, what I can do tomorrow, what I will do in the future.
"That's important because football changes and it's important I go with football. I still know about the old football.
"There are teams that win and there are teams like Bayern [Munich] which played better [than Chelsea] and lost the Champions League final. That's football.
"I follow this football, the new football."
Trapattoni's spell in charge of Italy was one of the few in his career which did not bring tangible success.
He took them to the 2002 World Cup finals in the Far East - coincidentally, the last tournament for which Ireland qualified before the current campaign - but saw them eliminated by co-hosts South Korea in the second round, and after a similarly disappointing showing at Euro 2004, he was replaced by Marcello Lippi.
However, he continues to be fondly regarded at home, and his attention to detail and concentration on what he refers to as "the little details" have served the Republic well over the last four years.
Asked how different these finals will be to those he has experienced in the past, Trapattoni said: "Every four years, it changes. The referees change, the culture changes.
"Ten years ago, the old Ireland side played very well, but in the past 10, 12 years, it is completely different football.
"Every team now, many players play in Germany, in England, in South Africa. They play everywhere.
"Today, many managers go to China, to America, to South Africa. The culture is very, very important.
"In England, in Germany, there are many, many foreigners."
The Ireland party boarded the plane in high spirits after a 1-0 friendly victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina yesterday which was significantly more convincing than the scoreline suggests.
They did so, however, having lost midfielder Keith Fahey to the groin injury which has hampered him ever since he joined up, and his misfortune propelled former Derby midfielder Paul Green, who is currently unattached, from the stand-by list into the squad.
Trapattoni said: "Yesterday when he was warming up, he again felt the old injury and the doctor did a scan immediately and said he would not be available to us.
"We called Paul Green immediately."
Paul McShane, who was called up as defensive cover last week amid a rash of injuries, occupied a 24th seat, and he could yet become a permanent member of the squad with Trapattoni's concerns over John O'Shea and Kevin Foley ongoing, while goalkeeper Shay Given is working to shake off a knee problem.
The manager is well aware of the task facing his side as they attempt to find a way past Spain Italy and Croatia to emerge from Group C, but he remains quietly optimistic.
He said: "What I ask always of the team is that we believe in ourselves. We have shown them what we want them to do and they understand.
"I have said many, many times, there is the show and the result. You can have a beautiful show, but without a good result...
"After three days, the result remains, but the show is forgotten, and they understand this.
"When it's not possible to make a show, you can still achieve the result. Yesterday, the team won, but also played well."
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