ROTHERHAM United's Chiedozie Ogbene says it is a "huge honour" to have become the Republic of Ireland's first African-born player.
The winger made his Republic debut as a late minute substitute in their 0-0 draw with Hungary in Budapest last night and in doing so went into the history books.
Although born in Nigeria, Ogbene's family moved to Ireland when he was seven and last year he "expressed his desire" to represent the Republic of Ireland at international level and the FAI began an eligibility process.
Ogbene said: “To be titled the first African-born, I’m really blessed and it’s a huge honour, something that I want to inspire everyone else to, to follow their dreams.
“I have got the first taste of it and I am hungry for more. I don’t want to miss this opportunity and I will do everything I can to be an option for the manager.”
The only down side of the night came at the start when Ireland's players were booed for taking a knee in support of football's anti-racism campaign.
“I was quite disappointed," added Ogbene. "We stayed strong and I’m so happy that we as a team took the knee to show solidarity between us all.
“I feel like the group we have, it is diverse and everyone is together.
“We hope that UEFA will take stricter action and find a solution. It is a difficult task because it has been going on for many years. We won’t find a solution overnight."