Jonathan de Guzman: Swansea City are at home in the Europa League
JONATHAN de Guzman got his first taste of the Uefa Cup only three days after his 18th birthday, sitting on the bench when Feyenoord faced Rapid Bucharest.
His European appearances have been sporadic since then, although he played in every game of Villarreal's Champions League campaign in 2011-12.
The Spanish side did not make it out of a brutal group which also contained Manchester City, Napoli and Bayern Munich, though there was a notable personal milestone when he scored at the Allianz Arena.
Now, more than eight years since he broke through at Feyenoord, he is back playing European football at Swansea City.
And as one of the few at the Liberty who have tasted cross-border competition before, he reckons Swansea are acclimatising rather nicely.
"The Europa League is different from what we are used to," de Guzman says.
"The level is different, but we've adapted pretty well.
"Valencia was a big game to start — it was not easy — but the away win there was big for us.
"Then the game against St Gallen was not easy.
"They could have turned it around in the first half as they had a lot of chances so the Europa League is difficult, it is different.
"There are different styles of play and new experience for a lot of our players."
There is a long way to go in the competition — if Swansea were to do something extraordinary and reach the final, they will have played no fewer than 19 European games.
That is half a Premier League season, and explains why some in British football are so concerned with the distractions the Europa League.
"I would rather not be in it," the former Welsh international Mickey Thomas suggested this week.
"You have to focus on the Premier League."
Happily for Swansea's fans, who are enjoying the European ride, Michael Laudrup disagrees.
The Swansea manager accepts that there is a need to be careful, that his team must not allow the bright lights of Europe to divert their concentration away from the Premier League.
He is aware that clubs with limited experience of Europe competition can get into trouble domestically, and tells his players as much in every European week.
If Laudrup could win only one game in this "huge week" for his team, he would surely have opted for success in the Premier League.
But the Dane is convinced his squad has the depth to compete at home and abroad, and he craves another victory against Kuban Krasnodar tomorrow.
Having seen off St Gallen on the back of that unforgettable triumph in Valencia, Swansea know that one more win will give them a golden chance of getting out of Group A.
And of the four fixtures which remain in the qualifying pool, tomorrow's is the most gentle on paper.
Kuban are struggling for form, after all, and they make the long journey from Russia to South Wales.
"Playing at home again is good for us," de Guzman says, "but it won't be easy.
"I don't know too much about them. I know they beat my ex-club (Feyenoord) to qualify (in the play-off round) but other than that I don't know too much.
"But by kick-off time we'll be prepared and will have watched them.
"It's different when you step out on pitch, but we know how key it is for us.
"If we win we will have one foot in the knockout stages with nine points from three games."