Following a string of eye-catching displays for FC Schalke 04 during the second half of 2015/16, the innate artistry of majestic young midfielder Leroy Sane was simply too good to ignore for Germany coach Joachim Löw.
The real deal
"For me, his emergence is one of the stories of the season," Löw said, having named the 20-year-old Knappenschmiede academy graduate in his final 23-man squad for UEFA Euro 2016. "He's quick, strong technically, looks for the one-on-ones and is carefree. We see huge potential in him. He's got a special gift and finesse."
Disciples of the European game will already be familiar with Sane's spellbinding attributes after he announced himself on the UEFA Champions League stage with a stunning long-range effort against Real Madrid CF in March 2015. It was not his first goal for Schalke, but it was certainly his most memorable.
"I didn't know he had it in him," recalled Leroy's father Souleyman, who himself made 174 Bundesliga appearances between 1988 and 1994. "Look back at the footage: I never scored a goal from so far out like Leroy did against Real Madrid. There's no way I could have done that."
Euro platform awaits
Although some might see Sane's inclusion in Germany's Euro 2016 squad as something of a gamble, Die Mannschaft's man at the helm and fans alike are right to have no such concerns. The Schalke whizz is every bit a star in the ascendant, whose halcyon days could be just around the corner.