Ashley Cole said he had lived out a boyhood dream as he captained England in the 1-1 draw with the Republic of Ireland at Wembley on Wednesday night.
The Chelsea full-back led out his country and received a commemorative golden cap in recognition of his 100th appearance for his country made against Brazil in February.
There had been some controversy over Roy Hodgson's decision to name Cole as skipper given his chequered past but the 32-year-old was grateful for the experience.
He said: "It probably ranks as number one in my career. I never expected to get 100 caps and I'd like to thank the fans for the reception I got, I didn't expect it but it was a very proud moment and one I'll never forget.
"I wanted to be captain. I don't really like speaking to the media but it was a dream come true and I've lived a little boy's dream tonight."
He could have even marked the occasion with his first international goal, but he was denied by a combination of Seamus Coleman and Sean St Ledger when his chance came in the second half.
He said: "My eyes lit up, I had my celebration ready, but it wasn't to be. I thought I could get on the end of it but it was great defending.
"We should've won," he continued. "It was a great atmosphere. Their fans were very good. It was always going to be a tough game but overall I think we deserved to win."