Ryan McGivern is full of confidence after helping Northern Ireland to shackle Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani
Last Updated: November 13, 2012 10:58am
Ryan McGivern: Relished the chance to face Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani
Northern Ireland full-back Ryan McGivern admits his confidence has been given a massive boost after he helped to shackle Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani.
McGivern faced Portugal's star wingers in last month's World Cup qualifier and was kept on his toes as Real Madrid's Ronaldo and Manchester United man Nani swapped flanks on several occasions.
But McGivern stood his ground as Northern Ireland held on for a precious 1-1 draw and now feels ready to tackle any challenge at international level.
Speaking ahead of Wednesday's Group F clash with Azerbaijan, he said: "Personally it was a great experience, probably one of the highlights of my career so far.
"It's given me a bit of confidence. Marking two of the top wingers in the game, Nani and (especially) Ronaldo, who's one of the best players in the world along with Lionel Messi.
"If I managed to keep those two quiet enough for 90 minutes it gives me a lot of confidence for the rest of my career.
"It was a great team performance - Portugal were ranked three in the world at the time - and for us to go there and get a point was great."
The Manchester City player has been loaned out to Hibernian, the sixth temporary move of his career, but he is happy to pursue regular first-team football.
"From my first loan experience a couple of years ago I've always been chasing it," he said. "Ever since I got a taste of first-team football I've never wanted to go back, I've always wanted to be involved in the first team.
"If I wasn't going to be involved in the first team at City I never wanted to stay there and hang about. I want to get out and play games because I'm at an age now where I need to start developing and playing first-team football on a regular basis."