Former Tottenham ace Rafa van der Vaart has claimed he was advised to leave Real Madrid in 2010 by his then-manager Jose Mourinho.
Van der Vaart left Madrid for Spurs in 2010 and enjoyed two impressive years in north London, scoring memorable goals in the Premier League and the Champions League.
Mourinho led Real to La Liga success during his time there, but now of course he is in charge at Tottenham.
And Van der Vaart has revealed the circumstances that led to him departing the Santiago Bernabeu to join Spurs almost 11 years ago.
Speaking to talkSPORT, Van der Vaart claimed Mourinho told him to switch clubs as Mesut Ozil would be taking his place in the squad.
“At that time he told me ‘Rafa, I’m going to buy Ozil. So I think it’s better you leave the club,'” Van der Vaart said. “‘If you are staying, it’s also okay but you are too good to be on the bench. Try and go somewhere else’.
“I left for Spurs, so at the end I’m also really happy to him.”
Indeed, despite being ousted by Mourinho, Van der Vaart had nothing but good things to say about the current Tottenham boss.
The Dutchman said: “He is an amazing coach. I had him for just two seasons at Real Madrid. He’s an honest guy and I think almost every player who works with him, no one is talking bad about him.
“That means he’s protecting his players, honest and that means a lot to players.”
Van der Vaart remains a real fan favourite at Spurs, and the supporters have Mourinho to thank in part for that.
Perhaps Mourinho will become more than a fan favourite himself if he delivers some silverware at White Hart Lane.