Chelsea loanee Michael Hector is looking to Bayern Munich's Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng for inspiration as to how to reach the pinnacle of your profession.
The former Reading defender surprised many when he moved on loan to Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt in July, but he has since found himself in the unlikely position of competing with Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund for a Champions League place.
Hummels and Boateng are currently top of the table, with the Bavarian outfit strong favourites to win the title as they prepare to face Arsenal in midweek Champions League competition, and Hector says he is aiming to reach their level in the near future.
"As a player against me, Messi was surreal to play against," Hector began in a chat with Goal at the Commerzbank-Arena. "But Boateng and Hummels when we played them, I watched the game back and you want to get to that type of level where you are just calm [like them].
"Even when they are under pressure, they are calm, defending one-versus-one. It's calm, it is never a panic. They may be panicking but they look calm and just deal with situations and that’s a world-class centre-back.
"That’s my position. I need to be positive and aggressive, but have the calmness to deal with situations. If you want to be a world-class centre back, that’s what you want to do, to watch world-class centre backs.
"You need to keep the ball, that’s the game now. World-class teams, or good teams, need to keep the ball as you will have most of the ball and start your attacks, so it is a different ball game now."
Frankfurt drew 2-2 with Bayern Munich in October, despite being left with only 10 men on the field after Szabolcs Huszti was sent off in the 70th minute, while Hector also started his side's impressive 2-1 victory against Borussia Dortmund.
The 24-year-old has had two starts in a week after taking in a spell out of the team and Hector feels like he is learning a lot as he steps up from the Championship to the Bundesliga.
"He was good [Aubameyang], as were Dembele, Schurrle, Reus," he added about his match against Dortmund. "Their front three were very quick. It was all a surreal experience. We just had to keep tight with him.
"He [Aubameyang] is a world-class player, if you give him the space, he is obviously going to punish you. It was good to keep him quiet. He obviously scored, but it was good to play a good game and beat a world-class team.
"Arsenal, when I was at Reading in the FA Cup, that was one of the toughest ones [before my move] because we kept them to extra-time as well, in the semi-final. Dortmund are just as good and maybe better than Arsenal on their day so it was good to play for 90 minutes [against them]."