Sochi, Russia (AFP) - Lars Stindl is undoubtedly the winner in regards to Joachim Low's decision to leave Germany's World Cup-winning stars at home and blood fringe players at the Confederations Cup.
After the first two rounds of matches, Borussia Monchengladbach's captain is the tournament's unlikely top scorer in Russia.
Stindl netted in both Monday's 3-2 opening win over Australia and Thursday's 1-1 draw with Chile - a good return from his four shots on goal from both Group B games.
"No, I haven't taken a glance at it," he modestly admitted when asked if he had looked at the list of top scorers - with his name ahead of luminaries Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo and Mexico striker Javier Hernandez.
Had Germany boss Low decided to bring his full-strength team to Russia, it is unlikely Stindl would be on the team sheet.
In the last few years, the 28-year-old was always overlooked by Low despite eye-catching performances for Hanover 96, then Monchengladbach, whom he joined in 2015.
However, Stindl's chance came when Low announced he was not taking his established stars to the Confed Cup.
Stindl pushed his way into Low's plans with a series of strong performances, netting 18 goals for Gladbach, including two against Celtic in the Champions League last season.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man.
Stindl has seized his chance to impress at an international tournament with both hands.
His rise is exactly what Low wanted to see in Russia: new names stepping up to make established stars like Toni Kroos and Mesut Ozil fight for places at next year's World Cup.
Against Chile on Thursday, Stindl put in a strong performance in Kazan.
He worked tirelessly to offer a platform on attack and calmed German nerves when Alexis Sanchez gave Chile an early lead.
With half-time approaching, he timed his run into the area so when Jonas Hector put in a low cross it was Stindl's outstretched boot which claimed a classic centre-forward's goal to equalise.
"He is a very refined player with incredible game intelligence and good orientation in space," said Low. "He has absolutely convinced us of his qualities.
"He is quiet and self-assured, shows no signs of nervousness, is a very good personality and a very good player," added Low.
Normally a box-to-box midfielder, Stindl has been a revelation in his new role up front for the Germans.
"I put him right up front, because he's great at defending the ball and passing it on and he often broke through the defensive lines," explained Low.
Unlike Germany's motormouth forward Thomas Muller, another big name missing in Russia, Stindl is not a talker.
"It worked quite well," was Stindl's modest appraisal after his goal against Chile dug the Germans out of a sizeable hole.
Likewise, he was far from gushing after scoring the opener against Australia in Monday's 3-2 win in Sochi.
"I can not complain at the moment and I am happy that I can help the squad," said Stindl, who is locked under contract at Gladbach until 2021.
His humble approach is understandable given that Stindl only made his debut in the 1-1 friendly draw with Denmark, just over a fortnight ago.
His flicked pass against the Danes led to Joshua Kimmich's bicycle-kick goal.
"Everything that has happened, after the season just gone, is a bonus for me. I was very happy just to have been called up," Stindl said.
Germany play Cameroon in Sochi on Sunday, vying to knock Chile, who play Australia in Moscow, off top spot in Group B and book their place in the semi-finals.
If he keeps hitting the net, Stindl could land the trophy as the Confederation Cup's top scorer, then finding himself heading back to Russia next year to defend the World Cup.