Injury saw Adler lose that tag to Manuel Neuer just prior to the 2010 World Cup, and he has spent the last 26 months since his last international appearance trying to rescue his career after serious knee surgery.
He was rewarded with a call-up to the squad which drew 0-0 with the Netherlands before Christmas, and is now set to pull on the Germany jersey in Wednesday's friendly with France in Paris with Neuer given a rest.
"I've been out for such a long time that it's just great for me to be back, and hopefully I will play so I'm delighted," the Hamburg goalkeeper said.
"It's a reward for all of the hard work and the tough times I've been through.
"I'm just delighted to be able to play again and I'm going to go out there and enjoy it, but I don't really think it will change the status (of who is number one).
"This is just my reward for all of my hard work, not a chance for me to become the number one again."
Neuer has not taken too kindly to Germany coach Joachim Low's decision to pick Adler ahead of him, saying at the weekend that it was a game he would have liked to take part in himself.
Low insists that Neuer will return for the World Cup qualifiers against Kazakhstan next month, which is why Adler is not under any illusions about his position.
"I'll not be doing anything different or breaking my neck to impress," he said.
"No, I'm pretty relaxed about it. If I get the chance to play, I just want to enjoy it and contribute to us winning.
"I think our roles are pretty clear. To be back in the group of Germany's best players is a sensational experience because I know how quickly things can change."