Just as he danced around the A-League's best defenders, Marco Rojas has brushed off the concerns of All Whites great Wynton Rufer, who believes the VfB Stuttgart-bound winger is too green for the Bundesliga.
Last month Rufer, who scored 59 goals in 174 games for Werder Bremen, told The Dominion Post that Rojas had enjoyed "a great season" with Melbourne Victory.
"But it's about consistency," Rufer said.
"Marco got the player of the year award but, if we're brutally honest, the final part of the season, he didn't play so well. I think it's best for him to stay for another year."
Rojas, 21, is a graduate of Rufer's WYNRS academy and while he hadn't spoken to him since signing with Stuttgart he was aware of his comments.
"Yeah, I've seen those but I'm not going to comment on that," Rojas said.
"Everyone is allowed their opinion and I'm going to go there, work hard and just do what's going to be best for me."
Rojas is fulfilling a lifelong dream by joining the world's hottest league, as Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund prepare to square off in an all-German Champions League final at Wembley tomorrow morning.
It has been a remarkable rise for a player who got his break at the Wellington Phoenix thanks to a scholarship from supporters' group Yellow Fever.
"It's something that I've always wanted to do and it's so exciting to be able to do it this early and, hopefully, I can go over there and make a difference. It's going to be a whole different ball game, another level and I know it's going to be tough."
His biggest fear?
"Learning German fast," Rojas said.
"It's not an easy language but I'm sure I'll pick it up."
Rojas also planned to pick the brains of former Victory players Robbie Kruse and Mitch Langerak, who are now both plying their trade in the Bundesliga.
"I don't know if they want to have a chat with a Kiwi," he said.
"No, I'll definitely see what I can do to try to see how they coped with it at the start because it is going to be a bit difficult I think."
Stuttgart finished 12th in the 18-team Bundesliga this season.
Rojas, who has signed a four-year contract, said he was unsure about his place in Stuttgart's pecking order but a tour of the club's facilities had whet his appetite.
- © Fairfax NZ News