Wandrille Lefevre admitted it was a major thrill to step onto the pitch for his MLS debut to replace Alessandro Nesta on the weekend.
The 23-year old French-born homegrown midfielder completed his first competitive minutes for Montreal Impact after coming on for the injured Nesta in the second half of the clubs 2-0 win over Chicago Fire and said stepping into defence was made much easier by implementing what he has learnt from the Italy and AC Milan great in recent months.
"Alessandro had told me that his positional history was similar to mine," Lefevre told reporters on Monday.
"He was a midfielder at first and he played his first pro games in the middle, but for various reasons, including injuries, he moved to the back.
"He told me my profile could be similar. It's up to me to develop the qualities to become a decent defender. I take up every one of his pieces of advice."
He added: "If you'd told me that two years ago, when I was still in school, doing my student stuff and thinking that my dream of playing as a professional was waning, I wouldn't have believed it. And replacing Alessandro, that legend of the sporting world, was really special."