The Scotland defence had Poland star man Robert Lewandowski in its pocket when the teams met in Warsaw last autumn.
But that just means he’ll definitely be a handful when the pair square up in tonight’s crucial Euro qualifier at Hampden.
That’s the warning from former Scotland man and Tele columnist Lee Wilkie.
He should know because he has painful memories of playing a world-class striker with a point to prove.
Back in 2003, Wilkie was part of the rearguard that snuffed out Ruud van Nistelrooy to help the Scots to a famous Euro play-off win over Holland at Hampden.
Five days later they went from heroes to zeroes as van Nistelrooy scored three in Amsterdam as the Dutch blasted six to shatter Wilkie’s dreams of a finals appearance.
The serious knee injury that dogged the final years of his career came just months later and meant that was the last of his 11 caps.
Over a decade on, the memory of those 90 minutes is almost as painful as the knee was.
But he feels it can serve as a warning to the defenders who’ll wear the jersey tonight.
“Scotland did a great job on Lewandowski last year but, just like van Nistelrooy when we played against him, he will not have forgotten that,” said Lee.
“Part of the reason these guys are where they are — and right now I can’t think of many better centre-forwards than Lewandowski — is down to the pride of performance.
“If they have a quiet game they store it away and next time they face that team are usually really up for it.
“He will be up for this and, on top of personal reasons, he knows a win could clinch qualification for Poland.
“And he’s on fire just now. I saw his five goals for Bayern Munich against Wolfsburg on TV the other week and the standard of his movement and finishing was frightening.”
Having put the wind up the home defence, Wilkie is quick to add the challenge of facing the man who is arguably world football’s top marksman right now is one to relish.
“You always want to test yourself against the best. Despite what happened in the end, I loved playing against van Nistelrooy. The feeling after we won at Hampden, knowing he hadn’t scored, was amazing.
“We played great, they were a bit off and we won. The following Wednesday we were off, they clicked and we ended up getting six.
“Under Bertie Vogts we marked zonally and at Hampden my job was to cover the front post at corners. They sent every one to the back post in that game, so Bertie moved me to the back in Amsterdam.
“That night they put all their corners to the front and van Nistelrooy scored. That’s football.”
With Scotland needing a win tonight, the defenders may find themselves left to their own devices as the rest of the team push forward for victory.
That will make handling Lewandowski more difficult but, again, Wilkie suspects that can help the defenders.
“In games like this, you know there will be times when you are going to be exposed, times when it will be one-on-one and stuff like that.
“I always found that helped keep me focused and you always back yourself to do the job.
“Lewandowski is more physical than many strikers and that should suit our defence. It’s what they’re used to.
“If it was me, I’d rather have him to pick up than someone like Messi.”