Gary McAllister has revealed how it took just a couple of weeks of training with Steven Gerrard to realise he had the ability to become one of the finest footballers to have ever graced the game.
The Scot acted as a mentor to a young Gerrard when he spent two seasons at Anfield from 2000-02, during which time the duo were hugely influential in helping the Reds clinch an unprecedented cup treble.
It was McAllister who presented the No.8 with a commemorative Liverbird to mark his 600th appearance for the club prior to Sunday's clash with Newcastle - and he's not surprised by the way the kid from Huyton has blossomed over the years.
He told Liverpoolfc.com: "It was very clear to me, even in the first couple of weeks of arriving here, you could see he was a very special young player. Somebody that was growing into the position.
"He's not let anybody down and proved to be very influential for both club and country. He's had some very special moments for his beloved Liverpool.
"It really is a fantastic achievement [to reach 600 games]. Over the last 10/12 years he's proved to be such a wonderful servant and a great player as well.
"He's a proud captain and a very proud Liverpool player.
"It's very nice to be asked by the club to come up and present this.
"He's a good friend and I think he thoroughly deserves it. Let's hope he can go and get another couple of hundred of games!"
Gerrard's unique qualities and talents have been there for all to see and enjoy over the last 14 years.
However, it is his indomitable will to succeed that has impressed McAllister most, and he believes the 32-year-old can rightly be considered for the title of Liverpool's greatest ever player.
"He's very inspirational and never says die," he said. "The attitude is the big thing for me. When you see Steven Gerrard play, you know you're going to get 100 per cent.
"Even if he's having a bad game or a tough night, you're always guaranteed 100 per cent.
"There have been some wonderful players at this football club, but when he gets to the end of his career - and I still think he's got a few seasons left in his legs - he'll be right up there with the very best, if not the best."