Wesley Sneijder has underlined how important Jose Mourinho was to him during their time together at Inter.
“Mourinho is like a second father to me,” the midfielder told Marca. “Mourinho is a powerhouse.
“In football we have powerhouses who are players, and ever since I met Mourinho, we can say that there are powerhouses who are Coaches. And he certainly is, without any doubt at all.
“He is a very special person for me. As a Coach he is incredible, number one. It was he who gave me confidence and I enjoyed playing football like never before.
“And as a person he reaches you much more than in his role as Coach. Mourinho is a friend.”
The Dutchman was convinced by Mourinho to join the Beneamata in 2009 from Real Madrid. He instantly won the Scudetto, Champions League and Coppa Italia.
“You have to be with Mourinho to find out just what he is like,” the 28-year-old added. “The key to him is how he convinces you, how he helps you if things aren’t going well for you...
“He is on top of everything and always knows how to help a player, sometimes doing one thing, sometimes another, but whatever he does it is for the good of the club, the player and the person.”
Sneijder left Inter for Galatasaray in January and he’ll face Mourinho and his former club in the Champions League quarter-finals this week.
“We shall go to the Santiago Bernabéu with the belief that we can do well,” he added. “We know that it will be a very difficult and complicated game, but we have a good side here.
“I believe in my team and as long as we don't lose confidence, we will make something of this tie.”