Tim Dreesen came through the ranks alongside Belgium's current 'golden generation' and was also aware that they would go on to shine brighter than he would.
While many of his former team-mates spent their summer competing in the World Cup finals, the defender was negotiating a move to Ross County.
Dreesen is not bitter about his lot - he did once move from Lierse to Club Brugges for £1.3m, after all - and has instead acknowledged the impact that training with the likes of Marouane Fellaini and Kevin Mirallas had on his nascent career.
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"I knew they were not the same level as me," said the defender, who moved to Dingwall from Fortuna Sittard. "To train and play games with them was life-changing because your own level is raised as a consequence. I was learning from them all the time."