Dutch League veteran Earnie Stewart believes Feyenoord midfielder Shinji Ono can go on to greater things in Europe after a successful debut season with the Rotterdam club.
The 33-year-old American international will be playing in his third World Cup in Korea-Japan after representing the United States in 1994 and 1998.
And he feels Ono is one of the most naturally-gifted players he has come across.
''I haven't seen many players that you look upon in games that have such a good functional technique,'' said Stewart, who plays for NAC Breda in the Dutch League.
''The way they handle the ball, and he does it with his left and his right foot...it's sometimes amazing to watch.
''He has had a great season with Feyenoord: a UEFA Cup-winner and probably one of the better players of Holland in this season.''
Ono, 22, joined Feyenoord from Urawa Reds last summer, and will be playing in his second World Cup after appearing as a substitute for the last 12 minutes of Japan's third and final match in France four years ago, against Jamaica.
Asked if he thought Ono could eventually move to one of Europe's major leagues, such as Spain, Italy or England, Stewart replied: ''He's definitely one of those players that can move up.
''He's already at a high level right now, but he's definitely one of the players that could still move up a little bit further.''
Stewart, who has scored 15 goals in 80 appearances for the States, began his career in the Dutch League with VVV Venlo in July 1988 and also played for Willem II Tilburg before joining Breda.