Shay Given is refusing to give up on his dream of winning medals with Manchester City.
The Irish goalkeeper has spent this season on the sidelines, initially by the form of Joe Hart and then by shoulder surgery.
And he was thwarted in a bid to leave the Blues during the January transfer window as manager Roberto Mancini wanted to retain him as top-class cover for Hart.
Given looks sure to request a move away from City in the summer, but he has pointedly avoided questions about his future.
But he has said that he joined City because he bought into the idea that the club was heading for the big time – and still hopes to play some part in that.
Given is close to a return to full training after surgery on the tendons in his right shoulder, and hopes to be on the bench, at least, for the FA Cup final on May 14.
It was with a vision of playing in such games that Given ended a 12-year association with Newcastle to join City for £7m in the winter of 2009.
Hart was initially shunted out of the team, and then out on loan, by the arrival of Given, but those roles were reversed when Hart, after a successful season at Birmingham, returned to claim the gloves.
Given clearly holds no ill will for his young usurper, helping to forge his bright career, but Hart’s development has cast the 35-year-old’s future into doubt, with Liverpool and Leicester said to be among clubs interested in taking him in the summer.
But Given is still hoping he can partake of the fruits of City’s advancement, just when they seem to be growing out of his reach.
“It was important for me to be part of something big here,” he told BBC Radio Manchester.
“I don’t know what the future holds and whether I will be here or not.
“I would love to be part of it but time will tell.
“I don’t regret coming here. You get a gut feeling and I said when I joined this club I felt like a kid again.
“It was a new club and new surroundings, and maybe you do go a bit stale being at the same club for 12 years.
“It’s not ideal at the minute because I’m not playing but things do change very quickly in football and if my chance comes I have to be ready to take it.
“You look around our changing room and we have some of the best players in the world, and I feel very privileged to be part of that.
“It was a huge decision to come here but it felt right at the time because I was joining Manchester City, who had huge ambitions and I was promised there would be investment in the team.
“The owners have stuck by what they said and brought huge players to the club.
“That was the reason I left Newcastle because I felt like I was joining a club that had a huge chance of doing fantastic things, challenging at the top of the league and challenging for silverware.
“No disrespect to the people at Newcastle, but they were trying to cut back, sell some of their best players and get others in on frees. I felt after 12 years it was the right time for me to have a new challenge.”
At the start of this season, it appeared to be a close call between the experience and shot-stopping ability of Given, and the youthful athleticism of Hart.
In the end Mancini plumped for Hart, and Given has been restricted to three Europa League and one Carling Cup appearance.
He was criticised last season, usually unfairly, for not commanding his area enough, and it was seen that Hart’s extra couple of inches in height – he is 6ft 3in to Given’s 6ft 1in – was a key factor.
Given refutes the notion that his height is an issue, even in an era when tall goalkeepers are the vogue for the biggest clubs.
“People bring that issue up in the press sometimes,” he said. “It doesn’t wind me up personally, but I have met Peter Shilton, Pat Jennings and Neville Southall, and I am as big if not bigger than all of those guys.
“I also met Bob Wilson down at Arsenal a few weeks ago and he is a very similar size – and they have all gone down as greats in goalkeeping terms. If I’m in company like that I’m not too bothered.
“Things have changed a little bit with Edwin Van der Sar and Petr Cech, who are both big guys. But I have never felt size had hindered me because I have great power in my legs and a good spring that gets me around the goals as good as anyone.”
Given has remained popular with City fans, for his consistency when he was first choice, but also for his professionalism.
And after Given revealed that he snubbed a move to United when he was 16, he is sure to become even better liked!
He was spotted by several clubs while playing in the prestigious Northern Ireland Milk Cup youth tournament – but opted to join Celtic.
“I was very much a Celtic fan at the time,” he said. “I had the chance to go across to other clubs in England, including Old Trafford. But Liam Brady was manager at Celtic at the time and Packie Bonner, who was also from Donegal, was the goalkeeper.
“I just felt that leaving home at 16 these guys would help me settle in and would know what it’s like to be away from home.”