Ghana winger Albert Adomah admits he could not even dream about playing at the World Cup finals.
The Middlesbrough player has come such a long way in a short space of time and can trace his career trajectory back through Ghana’s own progress.
When Ghana first qualified for a World Cup in 2006 Adomah was still playing park football, before, while doing a decorating course, he was snapped up by non-league Harrow Borough.
After linking up with agent Tony Finnigan, a move to Barnet followed in 2008 and his Underhill career was just coming to an end during the 2010 World Cup when Ghana shocked the world and made the quarter-finals. But even then it was hard to imagine Adomah being part of the global showpiece next time around.
"I didn’t and couldn’t dream of this, I did not even think that one day I would be playing professionally, let alone for my national team,” Adomah told Sky Sports.
“It is a dream come true. It is a big achievement going to a World Cup, and after the last World Cup watching them on TV, now I get the chance to play – I can barely believe it sometimes.”
After leaving Barnet, Adomah was snapped up by Bristol City and soon after that move he was making his debut for Ghana. But he realised his World Cup dreams playing for Middlesbrough, who he joined in a deal worth more than £1million last summer.
A double-figure goal return in his debut campaign for Boro helped cement him in the Ghana squad for the finals.
“I have enjoyed a good season with Middlesbrough. It was hard moving north at first, but with my family around it became easier and I think I did a good job, and I was pleased with how everyone reacted,” he said.
“I always had the World Cup in mind, but knew I had to play well for Middlesbrough.”
Now Adomah is set to line up in the world’s biggest football event and he cannot wait.
“The World Cup is the big stage of football, that is where the best players are and the best countries play. At the end of the day it is at the home of football so the achievement to get there is a dream come true," he said.
"Playing for Ghana means so much to me as it is where my mum and dad are from and it is a great feeling being with the national team."
Ghana have been handed a tough looking task with two of the favourites in Germany and Portugal standing in their way in Group G, but Adomah insists that the Black Stars cannot be underestimated.
"The World Cup is competitive, it does not matter who you are - but we are hoping to get out of the group,” he continued.
“It is difficult with two of the favourites in Germany and Portugal and USA as well. There are no easy games in the World Cup and hopefully we can get out of the group stages.”
Adomah insists that the whole of Ghana is behind the football team and any sort of success for them can mean so much to his home nation.
"It brings the whole country together, they love football, they are crazy about football. They will be watching on big screens and in Accra it will be amazing,” he said.