Saturday’s exhibition game in Croatia was the European champions' first hit-out of the pre-season that also marked Hajduk’s 100-year celebrations at a packed Stadion Poljud.

It was a special night for all the Hajduk players but Lustica particularly who came on in the 60th minute to mark one of the great midfielders of world football

“It’s something you can’t really put into words,” 20-year-old Lustica told “I was just so excited [waiting to come on]. I wasn’t nervous just excited.

“For me it just felt like a dream to play against Iniesta and also David Villa. When you see these sorts of players close up like Iniesta, he’s on another planet.”

The game ended 0-0 in front of around 30,000 fans with Victor Valdes one of the other well-known Barca stars on show.

Barca coach Pep Guardiola said after the game: “The atmosphere was amazing and it was a real pleasure to be a part of it."

And with Lustica a long-time fan of Hajduk Split, to have debuted on such an occasion has him pinching himself it actually happened.

Lustica added: “It’s all felt like a dream. It’s something I’ll never forget.”

However the former NYL star wasn’t able to grab a priceless piece of history. “I don’t think they were too keen on swapping shirts after the game,” he said

Split kicked off the new Croatian League season with a 2-1 win against HNK Šibenik and travel to face Stoke City FC in the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round this Thursday.

Split’s other Aussie star Ljubo Milicevic may miss that clash at the Britannia but should be fit for the return leg against the English club on August 4.

Lustica added that it was too early for him to make comparisons between the A-League and Croatian League.

“It’s been so far so good for me,” he said. “We had pre-season in Austria and in Bosnia and everything has gone well with the new coach Balakov. He’s brought a lot to the team.

“And having Ljubo here has been fantastic, a great guy and another Australian here to speak English with, although we both speak Croatian fluently.”

Lustica captained Gold Coast United youth team to a second consecutive championship last year and was named 2010-2011 National Youth League Player of the Year.

However he wasn’t offered a senior contract by United Miron Bleiberg who opted for youngsters with more physical presence.

Luckily for Lustica, he got his chance at Hajduk and looks like he’s taking it with both hands.

The product of Canberra’s football scene might not have played in the Barca game had he been involved with the Young Socceroo squad for the U20 World Cup in Colombia.

He’d played regularly for the Young Roos but chose to further his career by staying with his club. He said it was one of the hardest decisions of his life to choose between his national coach and Split’s new boss Krasimir Balakov.

He added: “I got selected to go to the World Cup and I spoke to both my coaches and I knew it would be difficult to please both.

"In the end I made a decision and hopefully I made the right one.”