Neil Warnock predicted big things for Adel Taarabt after he inspired Queens Park Rangers to a 4-0 victory over Barnsley.
The talented playmaker, who arrived on a permanent deal from Tottenham this week, was one of the goalscorers against the Tykes.
And Warnock believes that if the 21-year-old listens to the right advice he could go on to play for a top team like Barcelona.
"Twenty years ago I wouldn't have taken Adel Taarabt. But I've said to my players to look at the good things he does and not the bad. We have to find a way of using that," said Warnock.
"When I came here last season he'd already been bombed out by the two previous managers. But I spent a lot of time with him and have to say I enjoyed working with him.
"I said to him that sometimes I'd drop him, or play him on the wing, and I didn't want him stamping around or throwing his shirt when he was substituted.
"He's got real talent. He thinks he should be playing for Real Madrid or Barcelona, and I've told him that if he sticks with me he can get there. At the moment, they wouldn't touch him with a barge pole."
Aside from Taarabt, there were goals for Heidar Helguson, Jamie Mackie and Stephen Foster, and Warnock was thrilled with the performance.
"You can't ask for a better start than that, but I won't get carried away. We rode our luck at times, and Barnsley had a good shout for a penalty when it was 1-0," he said.
"Fitz Hall didn't handle it intentionally, so a penalty would have been harsh. But five out of 10 times those are given.
"We were quite entertaining, but the opening game is all about getting the result. We stuck at it, were solid, and played some good stuff too."
Barnsley manager Mark Robins hopes that the shock loss will act as a wake-up call to his side.
He said: "It was a kick up the backside and not what we expected. It's disappointing, because I think we're better than that.
"We were slightly unlucky, but when we conceded the first goal we started looking like we felt sorry for ourselves.
"Then, in the second half, it was just a comedy of errors. There were basic defensive things, like tracking back, that we didn't do.
"At times we did look like we'd get back into it. We hit the post and should have had a penalty when there was a blatant handball by Fitz Hall.
"QPR are a fancied team and in some ways this is a good game to get out of the way. But I think 4-0 is a harsh scoreline, because it wasn't that kind of game.
"Neil Warnock said to me after the game: 'Don't be too hard on your lads, because Adel Taarabt was the difference. If I hadn't signed him, that wouldn't have happened'.
"We tried to contain Taarabt but he's very clever. It's hard to stop him unless you go man-to-man, and then that would give QPR more space, so it's difficult."