Ilkay Gundogan had no idea Germany head coach Joachim Low was in attendance to enjoy his star showing in Manchester City's 4-0 Champions League thrashing of Basel.
Gundogan headed home Kevin De Bruyne's 14th-minute corner and curled in a sublime second to complete the scoring after half-time.
The 27-year-old midfielder missed the second half of last season following cruciate knee ligament surgery, having been ruled out of Germany's 2014 World Cup triumph and their run to the semi-finals of Euro 2016 through injury.
He returned to the international fold, starting the November friendlies against England and France but, with competition for places in Low's squad fierce, he offered a timely reminder of his talents in the last-16 tie at St Jakob-Park.
"No, I didn't know," he told BT Sport when informed Low was in the stands. "You need to ask him [about my performance] but I hope he enjoyed it.
"The most important thing for me is a good performance and a good result.
"The result was maybe perfect but I think in the way we played there are plenty of things to improve.
"This is the Champions League; it’s always tough, it's always difficult.
"It seems like a comfortable win, but the game was quite intense."
While Low reserved the option to be quietly impressed, City boss Pep Guardiola left no doubt that he held Gundogan's display in the highest regard.
"Gundo is an extraordinary player," he told BT Sport. "Last season we missed him a lot for the six months he was out injured.
"That is why we are so satisfied with the performance – not just for the goals but the quality he has, the personality to play. He played fantastically."
19. Januar 2019
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