I always knew he had it in him. I knew he was a man of history. From when I saw his début, when he shot around the pitch at Ashton Gate in that 2-1 Leage Cup win, I knew that he would be a participant in great things.
Not a great man: not Alexander the Great, or Don Bradman, but nevertheless a character on the fringes of history. Someone involved in great events, but fundamentally a disruptor, a destroyer of movements and things. Think John Wilkes Booth, Gavrilo Princip. Today Gelson Fernandes fired a close range shot into what might have been - and what could still be - one of the finest international football teams of our lives.
People thought this morning that Vincente del Bosque's Spain side could pass their way to a World Cup, to accompany their European Championship of 2008. They passed very well today, but could not break through Switzerland's two lines of four. And when Fernandes chased down a long ball in the second half, he bundled past Iker Casillas and Gerard Piqué and scored a definitive goal. The Swiss held out, and this evening Gelson Fernandes has fired what might be a fatal shot into this promise-crammed Spain team. We don't know yet if he is their assassin, or just an assailant. But his name is in the history books for ever.