Rickie Lambert insists his World Cup call is "hard to take in".
The 32-year-old was playing in a League Two play-off semi-final for Bristol Rovers seven years ago but, having scored 13 Premier League goals for Saints this campaign he is on the plane to Brazil looking to add to his two England goals.
"It has been a hell of a journey to be honest," he said.
"My career on the whole has been so many ups and downs but the last five years, the way it has gone I could never have dreamt it.
"Each year it has been getting better and better and that has been topped off with getting called up for the World Cup.
"I have felt sick for the 24 hours, nervous and anxious but I finally got the call to say I was in the 23 and I was over the moon to say the least.
"I have seen World Cups before the atmosphere always looks unbelievable and it is something I have always dreamt of witnessing and now that I know I'm in the 23 I am going to be there. It is hard to take in really."
With team-mates Shaw and Adam Lallana also included, Lambert believes it is testament to the Saints staff that a trio have made it into the squad.
"Playing in a great team with great lads who I have been playing with for a few years has definitely helped me," he added.
"Playing with good players around you makes it a lot easier for me. It is credit to everyone involved at Southampton. The manager (Mauricio Pochettino) has pushed me on to a new level.
"I was very confident that Ads (Lallana) was going to get in and to hear that Luke Shaw is in as well I was delighted - it is great news."