Under-fire Wayne Rooney remains a "world-class player" in the opinion of Raheem Sterling and one which the England teenager is honoured to be learning from every day.
The 28-year-old Rooney knows all too well about the scrutiny that comes with representing the Three Lions, having been the focus of national team's hopes since bursting onto the scene at UEFA Euro 2004 in Portugal.
Rooney's standing saw him dominate the build-up to England's FIFA World Cup™ opener against Italy, as well as the fallout to Saturday's promising, if frustrating, 2-1 defeat. A muted performance in an unfavoured wide role in Manaus has led to calls for him to dropped, whereas at the other end of the spectrum the talk surrounding Sterling has intensified following an exciting display. The 19-year-old is all-but certain to start Thursday's crunch encounter with Uruguay - a match he approaches without the burden of expectation thanks to Rooney's words of wisdom.
"I speak to him a lot," Sterling said. "He just says to relax, express yourself and enjoy the game, really, and not to think too much about what is going on and to just play your normal game and you'll be fine. Some of the stuff he does with the ball, you try to take little clips out of his play and try to really learn from that.
He is someone I looked up to so to have trained with him at this camp has been a real honour.
"He is a world-class player, I've watched him growing up. He is someone I looked up to so to have trained with him at this camp has been a real honour, really. He works really hard and is always improving as well, so for someone like that for me to look up to I am really glad to have him the team."
Rooney's advice is clearly working, with Sterling shaking-off the understandable pre-match nerves to create havoc within the Italian ranks. The teenager was quick to insist that anxiety was down to the occasion rather than the position he was playing, given his role down the middle saw Rooney shunted out wide.
A winger by trade, it meant Sterling was also playing out of position and led one reporter to ask whether it would work if they swapped roles for the Group D clash with Uruguay. "It is up to the manager to decide, at the end other day," Sterling said.
"That is my normal position out on the wing, so with his vision and his passing abilities and my running abilities, it could be a really, really good thing. But, as I said, it is down to manager at the end of the day."
Vice-captain Frank Lampard sat alongside Sterling at Tuesday's press conference to help him share the media spotlight. Both players were peppered with questions about Luis Suarez ahead of Thursday's match against Uruguay - a match for which the Liverpool striker is a doubt following knee surgery.
"I'd rather not see him on the pitch, really," Sterling said of his team-mate. "He is a great player, but I don't think we really need to talk too much of his qualities because we all know what he can do. All the lads have played against him before, know what he is about. We know he has scored some spectacular goals and we will do our best to keep him at bay."