When asked what they thought about his move to Manchester United, Shinji Kagawa's Japan team-mates all agreed he would be a huge hit at Old Trafford.
Playmaker Keisuke Honda, however, did not waste the opportunity to market himself to potential employers.
"Shinji's the perfect player for a world-class team. As a fellow Japanese I'm proud of him," the CSKA Moscow forward said.
"But at the same time, as a rival, I'm aiming to play at a big club too, and I think I'd fit in just as well."
If those words had been uttered by any other Japanese player, they would certainly have raised some eyebrows. But coming from Honda, they did not cause a ripple.
He may have sounded conceited and perhaps envious. But, as if to prove the point, 24 hours later the bottle blond bagged his first international hat-trick in a 6-0 FIFA World Cup qualifying demolition of Jordan.
But the goals - two neat finishes from close range, and a penalty - do not tell the full story of the 26-year-old's contribution to Alberto Zaccheroni's side.
After nearly a year's absence from international duty after a knee problem, Honda was in inspirational form in Japan's recent friendly against Azerbaijan and qualifiers against Oman, Jordan and Australia.
As well as his four goals in the qualifiers, including a fine left-footed volley against Oman, Honda had a hand in four others and was a constant menace with his buzzing pace, dead-ball delivery, trickery and touch.
Coupled with a penchant for tough tackling, Honda was easily Japan's stand-out player in the qualifiers as it beat Oman 3-0 and hit six past Jordan before being held 1-1 by Australia in Brisbane.
As a result, Japan has opened up a five-point lead in Group B and appears to be comfortably on the road to a fifth consecutive World Cup finals.
The impact of the talented playmaker, whose performances even left top-rated Kagawa, 23, in the shade, has not been lost on the Japanese media.
"I think he is Japan's most irreplaceable player," said Kyodo News sportswriter Shintaro Kano.
"Honda was away from the national team for 10 months after having knee surgery, but since he came back in the Azerbaijan friendly late last month, he has been nothing short of terrific.
"Kagawa has been getting the bulk of the attention recently for the obvious reasons, but Honda is the one who has been holding up the team.
"He is one of Zaccheroni's most tried and trusted players and it's no coincidence he keeps picking Honda in the hole over Kagawa, even though Kagawa had tremendous success in the position for Borussia Dortmund."
The native of Osaka made his professional debut for J.League side Nagoya Grampus as a teenager and represented his country at U-20 and U-23 levels, playing at the 2005 World Youth Championship and the 2008 Olympics.
However, there was little to suggest that Honda would become a key man for the Blue Samurai until his move to Dutch side VVV-Venlo in early 2008.
Venlo was relegated that season but Honda helped it to win promotion back to the top flight at the first attempt, and then to re-establish itself in the Eredivisie with some sparkling performances.
Such was his impact on the Dutch team that he became club captain and earned the nickname 'Kaiser Keisuke' before he joined CSKA for 6 million euros in early 2010.
While his winning goal for CSKA in a UEFA Champions League tie against Sevilla gained attention, it was at that year's World Cup in South Africa that Honda really began to shine.
Honda's two goals, including a magnificent 30-yard free-kick against Denmark, helped propel Japan to the knockout stage for the first time on foreign soil.
Seven months later, Honda was named as the Asian Cup's most valuable player as he steered Japan to a record fourth continental title, beating Australia in the final.
But his progress was checked by a knee injury suffered while playing for CSKA last August, which required surgery and kept him out of action for months.
He missed the entire third round of Asia's World Cup qualifiers, and his absence was noticeable as Japan won only three of its six games, two of them against minnow Tajikistan.
But Honda's return to the national team has given Japan a huge lift. After his superlative performances, the Japanese superstar is likely to draw plenty of attention before the transfer window snaps shut in August.
"The thing I like about Honda is that he is unafraid, and plays with a directness you don't often see from Japanese players, who can often be overly technical," said Kano, who has covered the Japanese national team since 1998.
English Premier League club Arsenal will visit Japan this off-season to play a friendly against Japanese side Nagoya Grampus.