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After leading the side out at Wembley the full-back picked up an award for reaching 100 international caps, and nearly marked the game with a first ever Three Lions goal

England captain Ashley Cole says leading his country out in the 1-1 draw with Republic of Ireland was fulfilling a "little boy's dream".

The full-back was awarded a golden cap by manager Roy Hodgson after picking up his 100th England appearance earlier this year, and was wore the captain’s armband during Wednesday night’s friendly.

There was much scrutiny over Cole’s selection as captain, with the Chelsea man initially reluctant to step into the limelight, but the 32-year-old admitted he was happy to have taken the opportunity come full-time.

When asked where the evening ranked in his career, he told ITV: "Probably number one. I never expected to get 100 caps.

"I’d like to thank the fans for the reception I got. I didn’t expect it. But [it’s] a very proud moment for me and one I’ll never forget."

"In my mind I wanted to be captain. Like you know I don’t really like speaking to the media and the press, but it’s a dream come true to be captain and I’ve lived a little boy’s dream today."

Cole has never scored for England and nearly capped the evening with a strike, only to be thwarted by a fine defending from Seamus Coleman, and the left-back joked that he was already planning his celebration when the cross was whipped in.

"I think it was a great ball from Wayne [Rooney] and a great the cross from Theo [Walcott], and I tried my luck, I thought I could get on the end of it. It was great defending," he said.

"My eyes lit up; I had my celebration ready but it wasn’t to be."

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