Davis overtakes Iniesta and has Xavi within reach

Steven Davis’ exploits for Northern Ireland have already seen him re-write the record books. The Rangers midfielder is the most-capped player in the history of British football and is close to edging his way into the top 30 Europeans of all time. That is some achievement for a man who may be approaching the end of a distinguished career, particularly at the international level, but he still has plenty to look forward to and look back on.

At club level, Davis is among those looking to wipe a slate clean at Ibrox and start afresh following the departure of Steven Gerrard to Aston Villa. The man that led the Gers to Scottish Premiership title glory in 2020/2021 is now looking to ensure that those who bet on Premier League with Paddy Power do not tip the Villans for the drop. They are currently priced at 7/2 odds to tumble through a trapdoor into the Championship.

North of the border, in the blue half of Glasgow, sights are being set considerably higher. The plan there is to go back-to-back and cement a standing above Old Firm rivals Celtic.

Davis will, as a vastly-experienced member of the fold, have an important role to play there. He may not get around the pitch as energetically as he once did, but the first yard in football has always been in the brain. It’s true that Davis remains driven and sharp, however, someday soon, he will inevitably have to hang up his boots and start to think about life away from the field. When that day comes, he will have plenty to be proud of.
Standing on the shoulders of giants

The latest round of international action saw Davis add to his record-breaking collection of caps. He has continued to raise an individual bar to a height that few in Great Britain will get close to matching. Davis has also passed some notable names on his way up a star-studded chart. Those sat just below him on an all-time list include iconic figures such as Edwin van der Sar, Peter Schmeichel and Luis Figo.

Davis also now has Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta trailing in his wake. The former Spanish international is a European Championship and World Cup winner – with a decisive goal in a final to his name – and forged an impressive collection of no less than 30 trophies during a memorable spell at Camp Nou.

Many of those trophies were picked up alongside midfield partner-in-crime and fellow La Masia Academy graduate Xavi, who is another champion of the world that Davis has within sight. He may never pass the current Barcelona boss, but to have been within touching distance of him on an international front is some achievement.

Davis is also within a handful of caps of Dutch playmaker Wesley Sneijder, Italian World Cup-winning captain Fabio Cannavaro and German striker Miroslav Klose. They are all superstars in their respective nations and players that will form part of footballing folklore for many years to come. Davis finds himself in illustrious company and is thoroughly deserving of that standing.

He may never get the acclaim that Iniesta and Xavi once did and his CV may not be as glittering, but he is rubbing shoulders with the elite and does not look out of place.

Love Belfast
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