Teenage Belgian defender Dedryck Boyata has hailed compatriot Vincent Kompany as he begins to live the dream at Manchester City.
The 19-year-old has firmly caught the eye of new City boss Roberto Mancini, first finding himself surprisingly on the bench against Stoke on Boxing Day when he had been expecting to spend Christmas back home in Brussels with his family.
His first senior start soon followed in the 1-0 FA Cup third round win at Middlesbrough, before he then featured from the bench in the 4-1 Premier League victory over Blackburn.
The teenager was then handed the honour of a starting place in the 2-1 Carling Cup semi-final first-leg victory over Manchester United in midweek, when he had to deal with England striker Wayne Rooney among others, before he was replaced by fit-again Nedum Onuoha in the second half.
Boyata, who was previously part of City's 2008 FA Youth Cup winning-squad, has thanked compatriot Kompany for taking him under his wing as his first-team career takes off at Eastlands.
He said: "Vincent is a hero in Belgium and I used to watch him all the time. Now I am playing alongside him, it has helped me a lot.
"When you know you will be playing against Rooney you are nervous. But once you are out there you have to stay focused and play your game.
"Someone at City told me before the match that if I can play against Rooney I can play against anyone. So from now on, the pressure will not be the same."
He added: "Vincent kept talking to me and encouraging me on the pitch, so I am learning a lot.
"He started in Belgium at 17 playing for the national team and has been one of the country's best players."
Despite starting against United, Boyata feels he could have done better and he now hopes to feature against Scunthorpe in the FA Cup fourth-round clash on Sunday to continue his learning curve.
He added: "I really hope I can play against Scunthorpe and some more games after that.
"With another day comes another big experience for me. Playing against United was not that easy.
"I tried to do well but I wasn't too impressed with my game. I need to do better next time."