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Bartosz Kapustka introduces himself to the world at Euro 2016

Poland's win over Northern Ireland introduced the world to a talented young midfielder.

Lars Baron/Getty Images

When Poland took on Northern Ireland in their first match of Euro 2016 on Sunday, everyone expected Robert Lewandowski to be the standout star. The big Polish striker was the best player on the pitch by a long ways, and talent wins out, right? Instead, something else happened -- a teenager few people had heard of emerged instead and put in a man-of-the-match performance in Poland's 1-0 victory.

That player was Bartosz Kapustka, a 19-year-old winger who plays his club football with Cracovia Krakow in Poland. He's a fairly unheralded player, plying his trade in a league that few outside of Poland pay attention to, and for a club that even fewer outside of Poland have heard of. Despite that, his talents helped him force his way into the Polish side for the Euros, and it didn't take long in what's already his seventh senior international cap to see why.

On a day when Poland were struggling to break down a determined Northern Ireland defense, Kapustka showed flashes of absolute brilliance in their attack. He consistently provided danger from out wide, cutting in from the left to repeatedly challenge the Northern Irish defenders in his path, and always available as an outlet when his team needed it. He also showed a lot of skill in creating the one truly dangerous chance Poland had in a frustrating first half.

That control to bring down a wild pass in a tight space and get that shot out of it is impressive, and for Kapustka to do that at just 19 shows poise and understanding of the game beyond his years. If that was his only such impressive moment of the match, you could write it off as a fluke, but Kapustka showed over and over again that he knew just what to do with the ball and where he had to direct it to get the job done in a given moment, something that players even a decade his senior and with all the accompanying experience often struggle with.

That's a rare gift, and when paired with his obviously impressive skills on the ball, it makes Kapustka a dangerous player in attack and one well worth keeping a close eye on as he develops. And make no mistake, he has a lot of room left to develop as a 19-year-old player. He's not the next Messi or Ronaldo by any means, but he has the makings of a player who could be a name everyone who follows the sport knows and respects later on in his career.

He's already drawing attention, too, with recent reports circulating that English side Southampton will be keeping tabs on him in the tournament with the intention of deciding whether to buy him. If Kapustka keeps these kinds of performances up, it won't just be Southampton circling around him -- but in the meantime, let's just enjoy this young player performing well on a huge stage and having the time of his life.