Belgrade: Six years ago, Micah Hamilton was operating as a ball boy at Manchester City when he was pictured getting instructions off Pep Guardiola to help speed up play.
On Tuesday, he was scoring in the Champions League on his senior debut for the club.
Hamilton, an attacking midfielder who turned 20 last month, demonstrated his potential by jinking inside then outside a defender before firing a rising shot into the roof of the net to give City a 1-0 lead at Red Star Belgrade in the 19th minute.
He also won a penalty in City’s 3-2 win in the Serbian capital.
“What a goal and what a game,” Guardiola, City’s manager since 2016, said of Hamilton. “I am so happy for him. He is training often with us and we saw his skills one against one. He scored a fantastic goal and made a penalty.
“When he could not make one against one, he made extra passes and defensively was aggressive. Congratulations to all at the academy for the last years. How many players came up, how many players we sold who are playing already in the Premier League and Championship, and more.”
Hamilton said he was “delighted” to score on his debut, adding: “It still hasn’t sunk in.”
Born and brought up in Manchester, Hamilton joined City at the age of 7 and has progressed through the age groups at the club.
He has been an unused substitute this season for games against Newcastle in the League Cup and Young Boys in the Champions League.