A low-key 1-1 draw with Scotland in a warm-up match for Wales ahead of two crucial FIFA Women's World Cup qualifiers proved a hugely significant fixture for Michelle Green.
The Cardiff City LFC midfielder claimed her 93rd Wales cap in Dumfries earlier this month, moving one clear of the record tally held by celebrated former Everton FC goalkeeper Neville Southall. "It is a great honour to have achieved such a record," Green told UEFA.com. "It's difficult to put into words."
Game 94 will be even bigger, as England come to Cardiff City Stadium on Thursday in a potentially decisive qualifier. England – under Welshman Mark Sampson, Green's former manager at Bristol Academy WFC – need just a point to clinch the group, while Wales know a draw or a win could take them to the play-offs, a stage they have never reached before in a major tournament.
Making her debut in 2001, coincidentally also against Scotland, Green has experienced a number of highs and lows in the red of Wales, but her passion for playing remains as strong as ever. "I would have to say my first senior cap, and also the milestone of reaching my 50th, are certainly standout moments for me. But becoming the most-capped Welsh player and captaining the side for that game would have to be the number one highlight of my international career so far," the 31-year-old said.
"Every time I play for my country is an honour, but they are the moments that you will always remember. I never set out to achieve such a milestone; I just play for the love of the game."
Green is not one to live in the past, being only too aware of the importance of the upcoming fixtures against England and Ukraine – away on 17 September – as her team look to qualify for Canada in 2015. Wales lie six points above Ukraine, who have a game in hand and visit Belarus on Wednesday, having previously drawn 1-1 in Llanelli.
"England are a very good side and it will again be a huge test for us, but one we are looking forward to," Green said. "I feel extremely proud and privileged to be a part of this Welsh team. The atmosphere in the camp is great and spirits are high.
"This is a really close squad of players and we are looking forward to the upcoming qualifying games. It's an exciting time for us; we are looking to build on the performances of our previous games, and we will be going into these two crucial qualifiers full of confidence."
Despite having played in the UEFA Women's Champions League and the FA Women's Cup final for Bristol, Green has one clear career target left. "I can't put into words how special it would be to qualify for the World Cup – for me it would be the pinnacle of my career.
"It's the biggest stage in world football and it's something you dream about as a player.
It would be an unbelievable feeling to reach the finals with this group of players. The British women's Olympic team had a huge effect on women's football in terms of increased media coverage, and I think such an achievement would have a huge impact on women's football in Wales too. It would certainly raise the profile."
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