Jermain Defoe has no doubt that Thursday's recall to the England squad after three and a half years in the international wilderness was fully deserved.
Defoe last won a cap in 2013, but the Sunderland striker was selected by Gareth Southgate for upcoming games against Germany and Lithuania due to a raft of injuries to attacking players including captain Wayne Rooney, Harry Kane and Daniel Sturridge.
Kane is the only English player with more Premier League goals than Defoe this season and the 34-year-old is thrilled to be back in the international fold.
"Thanks to everyone for your messages!" Sunderland forward Defoe tweeted shortly after Southgate's squad was confirmed. "Playing for England has been my dream since day one so to be back in the squad is so special for me.
"It's also special for my family and I feel I deserve this because I've always dedicated myself to the game. I'm really looking forward to meeting up with the squad and seeing all the boys. This time around it'll be strange being one of the older lads, but I can't wait! BUZZING!"
Thanks to everyone for your messages! Playing for @England has been my dream since day one so to be back in the squad is so special for me.-- Jermain Defoe (@IAmJermainDefoe) March 16, 2017
Leicester City's Jamie Vardy and Marcus Rashford of Manchester United are the other forwards to have been selected by Southgate, with Arsenal's Theo Walcott omitted from the 26-man squad.