Rangers midfielder, Steven Davis, is still hoping to break Northern Ireland’s international caps record, despite the upheaval to the world footballing calendar being caused by the global pandemic, as quoted by BBC Sport.

The 35-year-old is currently sitting on a remarkable 117 caps, ensuring he’s his country’s most-capped outfield player of all time.

Rangers star Steven Davis has been a constant in the Northern Ireland midfield for well over a decade.

Rangers star Steven Davis has been a constant in the Northern Ireland midfield for well over a decade. (Photo by Eric Verhoeven/Soccrates/Getty Images)

However, legendary goalkeeper, Pat Jennings is still the overall record holder with 119.

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Davis had been set to move closer to that tally with a Euro 2020 play-off semi-final outing against Bosnia and Herzegovina this month.

However, that tie and the potential play-off final have been postponed to June, while the competition proper has been pushed back until the summer of 2021.

The delays aren’t putting Davis off though, and he’s focused on leading his country for the foreseeable future.

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“Pulling on the green jersey is still something I cherish,” he said, as quoted by BBC Sport. “It would be a great achievement for me personally – to equal or get past Pat would be special.”

“I am trying to not think too much about it but, as it inches closer, it is on my mind. However, you are always only one injury away or something happening like lack of form, so you may not get the opportunity to do that.

 

“I haven’t given possible retirement much thought. I love playing for my country and it is hard to imagine myself not doing that.

“It looks like the two seasons are going to merge together. I’m just looking forward to being able to play again and am keeping myself as fit as possible.”

Davis in Euro 2020 qualifying action against Germany in Frankfurt in November 2019. (Photo by Maja Hitij/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Verdict

Many top players have ended their international commitments in order to prolong their club careers, with plenty calling it a day in their early 30s.

Therefore, it’s impressive that Davis still feels able to carry on for Northern Ireland aged 35.

Clearly, this landmark is a big motivating factor for him and it’s a record he deserves after being a standout performer for his country for 15 years.

It’s imperative that Davis uses the current break to recharge and rediscover his best form. He was running matches on a weekly basis over the first half of this season but has looked a shadow of his usual self since the turn of the year.

It would be premature to suggest his legs have gone, but it will certainly be a huge test of his fitness if two seasons run together and then he goes straight to the European Championships with his country.

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