Steven Davis is set to become Northern Ireland’s most capped player in Thursday’s Euro 2020 play-off semi-final against Bosnia-Herzegovina.
The 35-year-old Rangers midfielder is level on 119 appearances with legendary goalkeeper Pat Jennings.
“I didn’t really give it too much thought leading up to equalling Pat’s record,” said captain Davis.
“But after receiving so many messages from then, it makes you sit up and realise it’s a hell of an achievement.”
He added: “It’s hard to sum up in words what it actually means, it probably wouldn’t do it justice – there’s been a lot of sacrifices made to get to this point.
“I’ve always enjoyed meeting up with the squad and there has been a great bond with the players throughout my time. The fans have always been fantastic to me as well so it’s something I’m incredibly proud of.
“However, come Thursday the caps side of things will not be in my mind – it’s all about the game.”
The winner of the match in Sarajevo (19:45 BST kick-off) will meet either the Republic of Ireland or Slovakia for a place in next summer’s European Championship, which was postponed this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Davis captained Northern Ireland through the high of making the Euro 2016 finals and disappointment of defeat by Switzerland in a World Cup play-off a year later.
He has scored 12 international goals and is now aiming to lead the side to another major tournament.
“It’s a great opportunity for us but it’s going to be a difficult as Bosnia have some top quality players,” added the former Aston Villa and Southampton player.
“The good thing for us is we have a lot of players in the squad who have experience of playing important games for their country, so that will stand us in good stead.
“It’s important we have that clarity in how we are gong to play as a team and realise we are going to have to put in a monumental effort.
“I believe we have the qualities to get through and a win would definitely be up there with some of the best results we’ve had. We can go out there and get ourselves through to the final.”
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