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O'Shea Close To A Century Of Caps

Sunderland defender John O'Shea is set to receive the 100th cap of his career during the upcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers and hopes to top things off by helping the Republic of Ireland qualify for the tournament proper.

O'Shea heading the ball away from danger against Italy
O'Shea heading the ball away from danger against Italy
Claudio Villa

John O'Shea has pretty much done it all during a glittering career in which he's won five Premier League titles, one FA Cup winners' medal, three League Cups and a UEFA Champions League trophy with Manchester United, while making close to 400 appearances for the Red Devils.

Now performing solidly at Sunderland, the Irishman has joined up with his national squad this week to prepare for what promises to be two vital European Championship qualifiers against Gibraltar at home on Saturday before facing world champions Germany in Gelsenkirchen on Tuesday evening.

Should O'Shea feature in both games, he will collect a special milestone in the form of his 100th international cap at the age of 33 when lining up against the Germans.

He said of the landmark:

"My 100th cap could come against the world champions, so that’s a nice game for it to happen. I’d only be the sixth Irishman to do it as well.

 

"It will be something I will look back on more when I have finished in the game and not playing. It will be special at the time for my family, friends, old clubs and a very proud moment."

 

The reliable centre-back claimed three of his 98 caps gained so far during the Euro 2012 tournament under the leadership of Italian Giovanni Trapattoni, but ultimately left the competition disappointed after three crushing defeats at the hands of Croatia, Italy and eventual victors Spain in the group stages.

Despite that sobering experience, O'Shea is determined to reach another major championships adding:

"I have only been to one major tournament with Ireland so to get to the Euro finals with my country would be very special. That’s what I’m focusing on.

"It will be a big thing for the future of the young ones coming through as well, so we have got to try and get there.

"Statistics are there and they mean a lot, but ultimately you want to be out there winning games."

If Martin O'Neill's men manage to make it through successfully, the Black Cats captain will be 35 years of age when taking the field in the summer of 2016 - what a swansong it'd be for his career at that level should the Irish get there.