Ahead of Wednesday's Champions League clash with Manchester United, Real Sociedad forward Carlos Vela has hailed former teammate Robin van Persie as the world's best striker.
Vela played alongside Van Persie at Arsenal, and the Mexico international has praised the man who would regularly offer him advice at Emirates Stadium.
"I learned a lot from him," Vela told The Independent. "For me, he's the best striker in the world and it was a pleasure to be able to share moments in training with him.
"We used to sit next to each other in the dressing room and talk. I used to ask him about his movement, what was going through his mind when he did certain things, and he would explain. If I was missing something in my game he'd speak to me and give me advice and I'm grateful for that."
Vela has flourished since leaving Arsenal for Real Sociedad in 2012. The 24-year-old scored 14 goals in 36 La Liga appearances last season to help La Real secure a top-four finish in Spain's top-flight league - and he accepts that is he now a "much better player".
"I've grown in every way," Vela continued. When you're playing week in, week out, your confidence, your motivation is different and that's when you're prepared to risk trying new things and I've managed to get the best out of myself."
The 24-year-old has also backed his compatriot Javier Hernandez, who has only played a peripheral role at Old Trafford since David Moyes was appointed as Sir Alex Ferguson's successor this summer.
"We've played together since we were 14, 15 and shared a lot of moments in the national team and in Chivas where we played before coming to Europe," Vela added.
"He's a good player but the competition he's got at United is very difficult, having Van Persie and [Wayne] Rooney in front of him. However, he's a player and a person who doesn't give up and makes the most of any opportunity he gets."
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