Munich - Among the many facets of Pep Guardiola's skills as a coach, and one that attracted FC Bayern Munich to the Catalan in the first place, is his ability not only to spot, but also to develop talented young players.
Ones for the future?
That none other than Lionel Messi became the globally feared forward he is today under Guardiola's guidance at FC Barcelona makes the strategist's selection choices in recent friendlies all the more intriguing.
Admittedly several prospective members of the starting XI are either still on holiday or recovering from injury, but Guardiola's eagerness to test new blood already appears to be paying off.
Patrick Weihrauch, Julian Green and Alessandro Schöpf have been thrown in at the deep end in the two weeks since Guardiola's arrival, with the former duo netting six goals apiece in Bayern’s first two pre-season outings, while Schöpf bagged a hat-trick in the Paulaner Cup on Friday.
It would be easy to dismiss the young trio's prospects as the result of pre-season hyberbole, yet it is not beyond the realms of possibilty for them to become household names by the time the silverware is dished out next year.
They need look no further than currently crocked team-mate Holger Badstuber, who went from unknown wannabe to bonafide Germany international in the space of a season following Louis van Gaal’s appointment in 2010.
Part of Bayern’s reserves until the Dutchman arrived, Badstuber impressed so much in pre-season that he went on to play 49 times in an astonishing breakthrough year that also included a UEFA Champions League final appearance and a place in Germany's 2010 FIFA World Cup squad.
Another global showdown awaits at the end of the forthcoming season and with age famously no deterrent to either Guardiola or Bayern, Weihrauch, Green and Schöpf might just allow themselves to dream a little bigger than they dared to do just a fortnight ago.