Alan Dzagoev's swashbuckling debut at Euro 2012 confirmed his reputation as one of international soccer's most exciting young stars, but may have also made it less likely that he completes a move to one of Europe's biggest clubs.
The 21-year-old midfielder scored twice as Russia tore apart the Czech Republic 4-1 in Wroclaw on the tournament's first day, catapulting the side to the top of Group A and establishing itself as a favorite to reach the knockout stage.
Yet even though Dzagoev's exhilarating performance will only increase his desirability in the eyes of the numerous clubs who want to sign him – including Chelsea and Arsenal of the English Premier League – his current employer CSKA Moscow has become even more resolute to hold on to his services.
[Euros 2012: Germany is the team to beat]
Many fans around the world would like to see Dzagoev switch to a more visible league where his talents can be witnessed more regularly than Champions League appearances with CSKA, and club president Yevgeni Giner had been resigned to losing him to a team in a higher-profile soccer nation.
Despite the enormous investment plowed into Russian clubs – meaning that the Russian Premier League can compete with any other competition financially – the opportunity to perform on a bigger stage in England, Italy or Spain remains a tantalizing prospect for youngsters seeking international acclaim.
However, if Dzagoev, already dubbed the "Russian Lionel Messi," continues to set the Euros alight and boosts his reputation, Giner's determination to keep him will kick into overdrive.
"We want to bring the best players here and we want to keep the best players of our own," Giner said. "People might think that if he has a good championship that will mean we are going to sell, because it will increase his price.
"Of course, any time someone displays great form in tournament that is watched by a lot of people it can improve their value. But we look at it a different way, in that it increases his value for us as well. If there is somebody playing for CSKA Moscow and playing in the Russian league that people are talking about as one of the best players in the world, then that is a positive and worthy situation for us.
"That is something we would want to encourage and keep in place, not just to trade it off for the maximum amount of money."
[Euros 2012: Greece looks to lift spirits of its troubled nation]
Dzagoev has given mixed signals on his intentions, combining pledges of allegiance to CSKA to hints he would be open to a transfer to the EPL, La Liga or Serie A. Either way, he was outstanding Friday. Dzagoev scored Russia's first goal after just 15 minutes, steering the ball home after Aleksandr Kerzhakov headed against the post. Roman Shirokov added a second goal six minutes later, and although the Czech Republic pulled one back in the second half through Vaclav Pilar, Dzagoev and his pals were not done.
The young midfield maestro was excellent throughout and has the kind of enthusiasm that might be expected from someone gracing the world stage for the first time. He effectively put the clash beyond doubt with a fierce drive with 11 minutes left, and by the time Roman Pavlyuchenko drilled home the fourth, the Czech resistance had crumbled.
"When you have a great finisher and a confident team, many things are possible," said Russian talisman Andriy Arshavin. "This was a good start but we feel there is going to be a long way left for us in this journey."
Other popular content on Yahoo! Sports:
• Johnny Ludden: Thunder's Kevin Durant ready to take center stage in NBA Finals
• Jason Cole: Steelers safety Troy Polamalu reflects on the simplistic approach of Jets QB Tim Tebow
• Michael Silver: Players earned cash incentives for hits during Saints playoff win