Semi-professional Bangor City striker Les Davies admits his inclusion on the list for a top Uefa honour is “crazy but a great surprise”.
At 17-stone and six foot three inches tall, Davies, who is affectionately known as 'The Truck', was yesterday named as one of the contenders for the Best Footballer in Europe award alongside Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Robin van Persie and Andres Iniesta.
The 27-year-old, who works full-time making safety equipment for Bangor-based company ISC, admitted he is still stunned to be included with such illustrious company.
"When I saw my name in the middle of those players it was just out of this world," Davies told Sky Sports.
"I didn't know what to say, I didn't know what to think. It just goes to show that anything is possible if you work hard at it. It's a really good feeling. It's fantastic.
"It's a bit crazy really, but a great surprise and honour to be included in the list alongside so many great players."
The award, created by Uefa president Michel Platini in a bid to revive the old European player of the year gong, was presented for the first time last August in Monaco.
This year's 32-man long-list was drawn up by one selected journalist from each Uefa member country voting for their five best players, and even a single nomination - believed to be from the Welsh journalist who voted - was enough to earn Davies a place.
Davies, who became a new father on Sunday, revealed how his career was given a new lease of life after he was moved up front for Bangor.
He said: "I used to be a winger but I converted to striker and the new manager sees me as a target man which seems to be working well at the minute.
"I just love football and I'd play football every day but unfortunately I have to work. It would be nice if football was my main job but I look forward to every day to getting out to play football when I can."
Davies scored an important goal for Bangor in the 2009 Welsh Cup Final where they beat Aberystwyth Town 2-0 and had trials at Manchester City, Everton and Wolves as a youth.
His semi-professional career has seen him win three Welsh cups, a Welsh Premier League title and a North Wales Challenge Cup but it seems the news of his nomination is still taking a while to sink in with Davies' team-mates.
Davies said: "I've had a few texts from the lads but they don't believe it either.
"They're just shocked it can happen to someone like me from a little club in Wales."
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