New Blue Gareth Barry breezed into the City of Manchester Stadium today fresh from international duty with England and looking forward to the biggest challenge of his career.
The highly-rated midfielder, a £12million capture from Aston Villa as the first of manager Mark Hughes' summer signings, accepts that this will be the most important season he has played.
He said: "It's going to be my biggest season with a World Cup next summer, and that was something had to think about - I was playing regularly for Aston Villa. But the boss was very complimentary about me when we spoke and he sees me at the centre of his midfield.
"I'm here to help make City a major force in the Premier League and hopefully challenge for trophies. And with a World Cup at the end of it, I'm looking forward to a big season that gets me on that plane to South Africa."
Gareth, now 28, joined Villa as a trainee and went on to skipper England Under-21s before forcing his way into the senior set-up, where he has become an almost automatic choice.
He said: "Once I found out I was joining City I was very excited. It's not really sunk in yet because I've been on England duty, but it was a really big moment walking into the stadium this morning and knowing I'm a City player.
"I've left one big club to join another. It was a big decision for me to leave Villa after 12 years but I know I'm joining the right club at the right stage of my career and I'm really looking forward to it.
"You can get too comfortable at a club, and that was one of the factors in my decision to move here. You never try to give less than 100 per cent on the pitch or in training, but it's easy to fall into the comfort zone over the years. I'm hoping a new start at City will raise my game to new heights and make me a better player."