Sam Allardyce thanked Sunderland and paid tribute to their 'absolutely magnificent' fans as he was unveiled as the new England manager today.
The 61-year-old made the comments during a Football Association press conference at the Hilton Hotel at St George's Park.
He said he still found it hard to believe that less than 12 months ago he was sitting in his villa in Spain wondering what his next challenge might be.
"I got pretty fed up pretty quickly, because football is everything to me. I couldn't actually leave it alone," he said.
After Dick Advocaat's departure, he accepted the challenge of keeping in the Premier League, and, against all the odds, managed to do it.
"I have to thank everybody at Sunderland for that opportunity, because that's the opportunity that came along at the time.
"I chose the challenge and the success of saving them put me in the public eye again for when this position became available.
"I had a really great time at Sunderland. the fans were absolutely magnificent for me and I thank them for that.
"Hopefully the England fans will enjoy my time with them as much as the Sunderland fans did ."
Allardyce was the unanimous choice from the Football Association panel to replace Roy Hodgson, who stepped down after the humiliation of defeat to Iceland at Euro 2016.
He has already added his former Bolton assistant Sammy Lee to his coaching staff, and he said of his management style: "I think that choosing styles or systems depends on the players available and then who we're playing.
"My coaching technique is to try and give the players the opportunity to win a football match wherever they are playing, be it home or away. And to make them aware of the opposition, which may change the style of how we play."
Allardyce also said it was important he and the players enjoy representing their country, describing the England job as the "pinnacle" of his career.
"I think the bonding of the team is exceptionally important and trying to create a good team spirit. And have some fun, the game of football is to be enjoyed and I've enjoyed my life in the game for many years," he said.
"So as the pinnacle of my career, which this job is, I want to enjoy this the most. So I can only do that with everybody who works for me and works around me."