As Ireland defender John O’Shea gets ready to call time on his international career, he’s been reflecting on his life as a Boy in Green.

Tonight’s friendly against the USA in Dublin will be his 118th and final appearance after making his debut in 2001.

Highlights were few and far between although appearances at Euro 2012 and Euro 2016 stood out.

On the way to the France showpiece two years ago, Ireland found themselves 1-0 down away to Germany with time running out and up popped the defender with a crucial intervention.


"Incredible, incredible...the goal was so special," O’Shea told RTÉ Radio 1's Saturday Sport as part of an extended interview.

"On my 100th cap, to get an equaliser practically with the last kick of the game but [also] because of what it meant as well in qualifying, the momentum, it kept us going.

"To do it away in Germany against the world champions was an incredible feeling. It wasn’t too shabby a finish as well, the player I got in front [Mats Hummels] of and the keeper [Manny Neuer] wasn’t bad either so all of those things together, the reaction, the videos.

"It was just an amazing night and it’s something I was very fortunate to be part of. It will live long in the memory."

The 37-year-old also recalled his early days with the team and how close he came to travelling with the ill-fated Ireland squad for the 2002 World Cup.

The Sunderland back started his Ireland career under Mick McCarthy but conceded a penalty just a few minutes into his debut against Croatia in 2001 in a 2-2 draw.

"Alan Kelly was in goals," O’Shea recalled. "He was half laughing, ‘Oh yeah, that’s a great start you’ve had, eh? The future of Irish football, penalty after two or three minutes.’ Things could only get better and thankfully they did.

"When I spoke to Mick after the World Cup he spoke about being loyal to the players who had got him there and I totally understood."

You can listen to the full interview above. 

Follow Republic of Ireland v USA with our live blog on RTÉ Sport Online and the News Now App, listen live on RTÉ Radio 1 Extra or Longwave 252 and watch highlights on RTÉ2 from 10.30pm tonight.