Kevin Kilbane believes the current Republic of Ireland squad have the hunger to reach the World Cup.
Hull star Kilbane was a member of the Irish side to reach the 2002 finals and he feels the young members of Giovanni Trapattoni's squad are driving them on to qualify for South Africa.
Kilbane can see parallels with the successful 2002 qualifying campaign and he admits he would love to have another crack at football's greatest show.
"During the Japan and Korea campaign, it was definitely a little bit of hunger and desire from the younger players that we had, myself included, at that time, really wanting to go to a World Cup and try to achieve something," said Kilbane.
"I am certainly feeling that from the younger lads who have come into the fold now.
"I would love to go back and experience another World Cup. I am very, very honoured and very proud that I have played in one.
"It's certainly in my thoughts that, if we can go back, I have got to try to really go there and give a good account of myself."
The Irish are still battling to automatically qualify for next summer's finals ahead of their last two qualifiers against Italy and Montenegro.
Italy can secure qualification with a point in Saturday's meeting at Croke Park, but Kilbane is confident the home side can upset the World Cup holders.
"The only thing we have to be focused on is that we beat Italy and try to secure the play-off spot first and foremost," added Kilbane.
"Then we have just got to hope Cyprus can do us a favour on the Wednesday. But, if we beat Italy, we will be doing okay.
"Italy know a point is good enough for them to qualify, and they are the masters of getting results when they need them, so we know we have to be on our guard throughout the whole 90 minutes.
"We can't concede and if we stay in the game - right to the last minute if needs be - we know we are capable of scoring."
Both Kilbane and keeper Shay Given will win their 99th senior international caps if they are selected at the weekend, and would then complete a century against Montenegro.
Kilbane admits reaching such a milestone never crossed his mind when made his debut against Iceland in 1997.
"I remember just feeling proud on the night that I managed to get up and running. I didn't ever think I would get to the total I am on now," said Kilbane.
"I'll probably give the old cliché that I am trying to concentrate on the Italy game but it is in my mind. Since I got into the 90s, everybody keeps bringing it up.
"I have to concentrate on the Italy game because that has got to be at the forefront of my mind, but yes, I am fully aware that at the end of the Montenegro game next week I could be on 100. It's very, very pleasing."