'Disbelief' is how Rickie Lambert sums up his reaction to discovering Liverpool were interested in signing him – and now the striker is determined to prove Brendan Rodgers made the right decision.
The lifelong Kopite became the club's first signing of the summer when the Reds swooped to snap him up from Southampton earlier this month.
It's something Lambert admits he's still coming to terms with; however, the 32-year-old knows his talking will have to be done on the pitch once next season gets underway.
"My agent told me and my first response was not something I can repeat," he said.
"It wasn't a chance I was expecting to get but I've been given it now and I want to get out there that I believe I am good enough and that I will perform and that I will help Liverpool.
"It is a dream come true.
"And as much as it's a whirlwind that is happening for me at the minute with the way my career has gone, I want to make it clear that I feel I deserve to be here and what I've done deserves me to be here right now."
Having been released from Liverpool's youth ranks at the age of 15, the move meant Lambert had come full circle in his career.
"I can remember very clearly the day Liverpool let me go," he added. "I remember being told by Steve Heighway and then going home and staying in my room for hours.
"I was devastated. Dad came up after a few hours and just said 'keep your head up son, you're a great player, you'll show them'.
"Dad is over the moon now and Liverpool means everything to him, he's supported them all his life."
Lambert is currently one of six Liverpool players preparing for England's World Cup campaign in Brazil.
His transfer to Anfield is just the latest milestone in an incredible journey from the lower reaches of the game to its pinnacle, which included a goal on debut for the Three Lions last year.
But which was the sweeter moment; signing for his boyhood club or netting on his international debut?
"Signing for Liverpool," is Lambert's response. "It was totally unexpected.
"It's crazy the way my career has gone that I'm picking things over the World Cup.
"I don't mean to but I was asked the question and I'm just saying what it means to me and that is the truth. It is a very hard question!"
For now though, Lambert is fully focused on helping England in their quest for glory in Brazil.
With Saturday's opening clash with Italy edging ever closer, he's ready to do all he can to aid his country's cause.
"Roy [Hodgson] is getting across how he wants the striker to play defensively and attackingly," he added.
"He's getting that across to everyone in the squad and he doesn't need to tell me what to do if I'm playing or if I'm not playing.
"If I am playing then I need to do what he's been telling me for the last few months and if I'm not playing then I need to come on and make an impact."
Lambert insists he's fully prepared for the challenges that lie in wait, both for club and country, and is confident he still has plenty more room for development as he enters the next exciting chapter of his story.
He concluded: "My career has got better and my performances have got better.
"I am hoping there are a few more years of improvement yet.
"I am not saying that I am going to be there at the next World Cup, but I'm hoping that there are going to be more performances for England, definitely.
"I am going to hopefully improve again from the next level I've gone up to."