Borussia Mönchengladbach midfielder Mahmoud Dahoud is unlikely to forget the 22nd Bundesliga appearance of his burgeoning career in a hurry.
The 20-year-old carved his name into club folklore by netting the only goal of the game in the 84th Rhine derby with 1. FC Köln, drawing praise from all quarters following yet another polished individual display.
Man of the match
"Dahoud was sensational against Köln," gushed Gladbach captain Granit Xhaka, Dahoud's partner in crime in front of the back four. "The lad's only 20, he'll only get better. He's incredibly important to us, he's still young and can still learn a lot."
The matchday statistics reinforce Xhaka's positively glowing appraisal. Aside from sinking the matchwinner after nine minutes, Dahoud covered 12.69 kilometres of ground, enjoyed 88 touches, completed 91 per cent of his attempted passes and won 88 per cent of his challenges. No wonder the waiting media clamoured for his attention after the game.
"Mo doesn't mean anything bad by not speaking to the press," said Gladbach sporting director Max Eberl of the self-effacing youngster, who passed off a great many interview requests with a polite "thank you" on his way through the mixed zone. "He's a classic street footballer - he only wants to play football. He doesn't care for the publicity."
A team player
When you score the decisive goal in a Rhine derby, however, there is no escaping the post-match ballyhoo. It is a feat that puts players in the history books; an unforgettable moment for all concerned. Even the most shy and retiring types struggle to keep a lid on their emotions, as humble Dahoud found out at the capacity BORUSSIA-PARK.
"A derby win is always special and I'm particularly happy for our fans," he told club website borussia.de after the game. "Obviously I'm also happy with my goal, but the win was a team effort. Raffael did brilliantly in the build-up to my goal and made the chance possible. That underlines how well we played together as a team today."
Without an arrogant bone in his body, the ever-modest Dahoud was always going to deflect attention from his own headline-worthy performance onto the Borussia collective. Against Köln, he underlined exactly why his superiors and teammates continue to pile on the praise, yet the consensus is he will only get better. If the Syria-born starlet does that, top-four candidates Gladbach can look forward to a very bright future indeed.
Tobias Gonscherowski/ Christopher Mayer-Lodge