Irish football has always benefitted from players who were born elsewhere but had strong Irish links. But it's very rare that someone born in Ireland would play for another country. That's not to say it doesn't happen - Dublin-born Libyan international Eamon Zayed is proof of that, but never have any of these individuals played against the country they were born in.
When Gibraltar host Ireland in Loule tonight, it will be a special occasion for former Home Farm defender Jamie Bosio. His first call-up for the Gibraltar was for the Ireland game in Dublin, but he failed to make an appearance. Bosio has since broken into the team winning two caps - the second of which a brilliant 90-minute game against Croatia.
He's now set to make his first competitive start against Ireland. To his credit, he still has some memories of Dublin after his Gibraltar-born parents moved there, before leaving again when Bosio was eight.
Speaking to the Sun, Bosio recalls the famous Elephant & Castle chicken wings, Dublin Zoo and St. Stephen's Green:
I remember things like going to the Elephant & Castle for chicken wings every weekend. I would have spent a lot of time in Stephen’s Green too, and we had an annual pass for Dublin Zoo because we spent so much time there.
He says he never made it to Lansdowne Road for a football game, meaning that he was first there for a soccer international as part of the Gibraltar team, but he did witness some rugby internationals there.
He's followed Ireland since leaving the country, and admits he's excited to play them:
It would be amazing to get some minutes against Ireland in this game. I would still follow them closely and it was quite strange that we were placed in the same group.
Until Gibraltar got accepted into Uefa, the team I supported was Ireland — I wouldn’t have followed England like most people in Gibraltar.
I had quite a few of the old shirts. I remember watching the World Cup in 2002 when Ireland went out to Spain.
Robbie Keane, Damien Duff, Ian Harte and Shay Given were the players I grew up watching. It’s amazing that both Shay and Robbie are still playing.
I’m a Liverpool fan too and I had a shirt with Keane’s name on the back.
Whatever happens tonight in Loule, it'll certainly be one that Bosio will remember for a long long time.
Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE