Chris Coleman says Joe Allen was born to play at the highest level after the Liverpool midfielder was named Welsh Player of the Year.
Allen has enjoyed a meteoric rise during the past 12 months, establishing himself in the English Premier League with Swansea City before earning his first start for Wales against Switzerland in October 2011.
His performances for club and country earned him an 18.5 million-euro move to Anfield during the off-season and his achievements have now been recognised by the Football Association of Wales.
National team coach Coleman was quick to express his admiration for the 22-year-old, insisting it was clear from a young age he was destined to make his mark at the top.
“I can remember Joe when he first came through at Swansea when he had only just turned 16 – you could see even then he was going to be a real player,” Coleman said.
“You could see the talent he had and it’s brilliant for everyone that he’s showing just how much he has.
“What helps is that Joe is such a great character, very humble, lot of humility and never someone who gets carried away. He’s doing terrific, a super little player who is important to us.
“Of course, the last 12 months have been incredible and he’s made huge strides – but he was born for it. He was born to play for a club like Liverpool and excel, and he deserves all the success he’s been getting.”
Wales play Scotland at home on Friday and Croatia away four days later in UEFA qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals.