Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has received praise for his 'personality and charisma' by Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane, reports the London Evening Standard.
The France international burst onto the scene at the Santiago Bernabeu under the now Blues boss' stewardship, and the Portuguese tactician's influence is not lost on the centre-back, who has now established himself as a first-team regular in the Spanish capital.
Varane joined Real Madrid from RC Lens in an £8million deal in 2011, and has enjoyed a rapid rise to stardom, becoming a regular for club and country over the past 12 months.
Although Carlo Ancelotti is now in charge of the Primera Division outfit, it's his predecessor Mourinho - who quit the club to return to Stamford Bridge in the summer - that is picked out by the 20-year-old as the best coach he has worked with so far in his short career.
"Jose Mourinho is a winner, a competitor, and he transmits that to his players," said Varane in an interview with FIFA.com. "Wherever he's gone he's always created combative teams with lots of character.
"I'm only young and haven't had many coaches, which means it's difficult for me to make comparisons, but I'd say it's his personality and charisma, which were felt by the whole team."
The Chelsea boss is now back in the Premier League after patching up his differences with Roman Abramovich, and faces a similar scenario to the one that presented itself when tasked with bringing Varane through to the Real Madrid first-team, with an onus now placed on youth development in west London.
Varane commended Mourinho on the way he handled his situation, promoting the relatively unproven youngster in favour of an out-of-form Pepe at the heart of his defence.
"It came up in the chat I had with Mourinho," he explained, after revealing he'd been made aware of his forthcoming debut. "He told me that I'd have my chance to play and that I was going to find out about myself and get to know myself better.
"I'd never been under a lot of pressure before, either on the pitch or off it, and he said that I'd soon be given the opportunity to find out how I'd react to it.
"Mourinho kept his word. In the two years I played for him he always kept his word, and he also knew when to throw me in at the right time."