It has been obvious for a long, long time that Wayne Rooney is a special talent.
What no-one knew, but everyone hoped for, was just how big an impact he would have at Euro 2004.
He has only played 76 minutes so far, and that in a game that England lost.
But there was everything in his display against France to suggest that he is now fully at home in international football.
It seems an obvious thing to say. But that is partly because Rooney has adapted to the top level so quickly that we forget his relative lack of experience and sheer youthfulness.
According to insiders, he was still showing signs of insecurity around the England camp a fortnight ago.
But his performance against the French - and particularly the way he sliced through one of the world's best defences to win England's penalty - has convinced him that he has nothing to fear.
"Wayne is so much more relaxed now than he was 10 days ago in Manchester," says BBC Five Live football correspondent Mike Ingham from the England base in Portugal.
"When he talks about his manager now, he calls him 'Sven' - not 'the gaffer', or 'Mr Eriksson'."
Key to Rooney's confidence is the atmosphere within the England squad, and in particular the friendship of fellow Liverpudlian Steven Gerrard.
"He (Gerrard) has been a great help," Rooney told BBC Five Live. "He's always there for me when I need advice."
The England set-up is designed to provide the ideal environment for young men like Rooney to relax.
"We go down to the arcade room together and have a few games on the PlayStation or play cards," Rooney says.
"We'll watch the other games and we play table tennis and pool. Or we go into the massage room and watch a few DVDs - last night we watched Peter Kay."
Still four months short of his 19th birthday, Rooney would become the youngest player to score in the final stages of the
European Championships if he is on target against Switzerland on Thursday.
He is seemingly blasť about the chance of being in the record-books.
"Obviously, looking back in years to come, it would be a big thing," he said.
"But I just want to win the game for England, I don't care who scores."
Part of his education at international level was the disappointment of losing against France in the most dramatic of circumstances.
"I was a bit shocked at first as I couldn't believe what had happened," he says.
"It was a disaster for the whole team.
"We were all just sitting there afterwards in the dressing-room, it was quiet and no one could believe what had happened."
To English fans, accustomed to Rooney's abilities from seeing him at work in the Premiership for the past two seasons, it is hard to view him in the same way that the rest of the Europe has this week.
Foreign fans had heard of the name, and some had seen highlights of him in action. But the pace, strength and range of skills Rooney showed on Sunday evening has left the tournament buzzing.
"People are petrified by him," says David Beckham.
Imagine if France or Italy had an 18-year-old player who had caused the same mayhem in the English defence as Rooney did on Sunday.
A few moments of magic in a major tournament can make a player's reputation for life.
It can also trigger bids from the world's biggest clubs - which is why Everton manager David Moyes will have watched his protege's display with mixed feelings.
Rooney shows little sign of letting the understandable excitement over him go to his head.
"It's been brilliant being out here among the best players in Europe," he says.
"It's a brilliant experience for me being such a young age, and it can only benefit my game."
All of which bodes well for Rooney's international future - although Eriksson would settle for an immediate dividend in Coimbra on Thursday night.