Phil Foden used to imagine himself being an England superstar when he was growing up in Stockport.
The talented youngster dared to dream big while having a kick about with his friends on the modest housing estate in Edgeley where he lived with his parents Phil and Claire.
But now Foden doesn't have to pretend anymore after being named in the Three Lions squad for the first time, to find himself on the cusp of seeing his boyhood dreams turn into reality.
Foden said: "When I was younger, every kid on the estate used to dream of playing for England and pretended they were playing.
"That's something I used to do and now I'm in the senior team it seems crazy. It's still not really sunk in. I’m just hoping I can make my debut and it will be a big moment for my family. If it happens I'm going to enjoy it.
"I didn't pretend to be anyone else. It used to be me that was playing for England! I used to think of myself being in the team, so that's why I'm so glad to be here.
"It's a real honour. I'm just hoping I can get the chance to play and then my dream will come true."
Despite still being only 20, Foden has had to wait a little bit longer than some others to realise his ambition of being part of Gareth Southgate's Three Lions set-up.
Foden inspired England to win the U17 World Cup in 2017 and was expected to be fast-tracked into the senior set-up, as Southgate turned to youth in a bid to mould a team capable of conquering the world themselves.
But while the likes of Jadon Sancho and Callum Hudosn-Odoi made the ultimate jump, Foden was left behind as he struggled to make regular starts at club level under Pep Guardiola.
Now his patience has been rewarded, with Foden emerging as an integral part of his City side with a string of stunning displays to earn himself a well deserved chance on the biggest stage of all ahead of the Nations League clashes with Iceland and Denmark.
The attacking midfielder said: "I'm only 20 years old and a lot of people have been pushing for me to play in the senior team much earlier.
"But I hadn't played a lot of games at Manchester City, but recently I've been playing a lot more and I've done well, so I've had to work hard for the opportunity. Now I've got it, I'm just trying to do the best I can.
"I've played in some massive games this year like cup finals and big Champions League games, and they are the games everyone wants to play in.
"Sometimes it's difficult for a young player to play in those games, but I think Pep has been patient with me and played me at the right times. Now I'm learning a lot and I feel ready to go."
It remains to be seen if Southgate decides to unleash Foden's remarkable skills on Iceland or Denmark in the upcoming Group A clashes.
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But there is no doubt Foden has the natural talent to go on and dominate the England team like the great Paul Gascoigne used to do in his pomp.
Foden has studied videos of Gazza and admits while his generation under-achieved, the current crop of youngsters coming through under Southgate have a better chance of succeeding.
Foden, who plays with more brains than brawn due to his slight frame, added: "Sometimes I watch older players. Paul Gascoigne was one of the best England players who played the game, so I feel if they had the right coaches around them and played the right football at the time, we could have won more trophies back in the day.
"Now I feel like we are going in the right direction in terms of playing the right football.
"I watched Jadon (Sancho) when he went to Dortmund and to do what he did at such a young age, there are not many players who could have played at such a high level and performed so well.
"I looked at what he was doing and was very impressed. There are a lot of young players playing at a very high level and it seems like every year younger players are playing more big games.
"It is good to see younger players getting debuts and it just shows that in the academies we have got great coaches teaching them the right things to play in the first team.
"Everyone wants the shirt in the England team. There are a lot of players that haven't been picked this time that may get picked next time, so it just shows that everyone is fighting for a place and it's healthy competition. It can only make England better. People are fighting for their place and I feel like this is a good thing for the England team."