Whelan in awe of Kroos
Glenn Whelan believes he may just have spotted a star of the future during Ireland's 1-1 Euro 2016 qualifier draw in Germany.
Ireland had to withstand concerted pressure in Gelsenkirchen as the Germans, who included five of the men who started the World Cup final in Brazil, attempted to bounce back from their surprise 2-0 defeat in Poland.
One of them, midfielder Toni Kroos, proved a major threat throughout, repeatedly stretching the visitors with his precise passing, and it was the 24-year-old Real Madrid star who eventually broke the deadlock after 71 minutes.
Whelan said with a smile: "I think the boy Kroos has a little chance in football.
"They are obviously top players, and not just the midfielders. But the boys behind us, the two centre-halves and especially (midfielder David) Meyler out there as well playing right-back, jack of all trades, he did brilliantly.
"We are just happy. We knew it was going to be a tough game and we knew we weren't going to have a lot of the ball, but we showed great character to get a result."
That result came in fairytale style as, moments after substitute Wes Hoolahan had been denied by a last-ditch block, central defender John O'Shea turned up deep in injury time to stab home an equaliser with the last kick of his 100th appearance for Ireland.
He said: "It doesn't matter who gets on it at the end. But it's great for John, 100 caps and to get a result the way we did, it was a perfect night."