Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes has had such an impact on Arturo Vidal’s career that the Chilean sees him as a father figure.
Vidal got his first taste of European football when he joined Bayer Leverkusen from Colo-Colo in 2007 after impressing during the Under-20 World Cup in Canada.
He became a key figure at Leverkusen, particularly after Heynckes took charge in 2009, enjoying his best two seasons at the club and ultimately earned his move to Juventus.
The pair were then able to reunite when Heynckes returned to Bayern for his fourth spell in charge in October.
And Vidal is delighted about being coached once again by a man who helped shape the player he is today.
“He could be my father, that’s right,” Vidal told Kicker. “Already at Leverkusen he shaped me when I was still a very young player. Through him, the Leverkusen team improved enormously.
“He knows me, how I live, when things are good or not, and he can talk to me about it in Spanish. That helps me a lot.”
Bayern are surging towards a sixth successive Bundesliga title this season – they could be crowned champions this weekend – as they sit 20 points clear of second-placed Schalke after 26 games.
And for Vidal, the key thing is Bayern’s “spectacular” squad planning, adamant every player they have is “world class”.
“I find the way they do things spectacular, really,” the midfielder added.
“The people here at the club do very good work and know exactly for which position they must buy a player. That means they don’t have to spend so much money.
“Other clubs had to do more transfers because they had less quality in their squad. They had to buy new stars to reach Bayern Munich’s level and compete in the Champions League.
“Here at Bayern, all the players are at the very top level, absolutely world class.”