The Scotland under-21 player turned down a move to Blackpool and more money in the npower Championship. Now a third qualifying round tie against Panathinaikos is the opportunity to raise further his own value, and the waning stock of Scottish football.
Few would bet on Stuart McCall's team eliminating one of the Champions League evergreens on the Lanarkshire club's first step into the competition, but Murphy – Motherwell's top goalscorer in Europe – insists his side have a sense of their own worth.
"This is what I wanted to do, play in the Champions League," said Murphy. "It's a historic game for the club, and I wanted to be a part of it. Now we have drawn Panathinaikos, that justifies my decision even more.
"These are exciting times. It is great to be a Motherwell player. It was great to finish third in the SPL last season and even better that we have been rewarded with something like this for it."
Murphy's seven goals in three Europa League campaigns, starting with a hat-trick against Flamurtari of Albania in 2009, will ensure he is one of the players identified as a threat by the Greek side when they come to Fir Park for the first leg on August 1, before the return in the Olympic Stadium in Athens a week later.
"We have had a couple of good runs in Europe with Motherwell," he said. "Cup competitions, whether it is one-off games or two legs, seems to bring out the best in me. I'm Motherwell's top scorer in Europe and that's something I'm proud of.
"When we play teams at Fir Park, like Celtic or Rangers, we have done well. Obviously, Panathinaikos are a step up in terms of quality to the SPL, but we have to believe.
"It will be hot in Athens at this time of year, but I like to think we are among the best passing teams in the SPL and I hope that stands us in good stead. You cannot run about for 90 minutes, in those temperatures. We've got to keep the ball."