RAFAEL VAN DER VAART has thanked Jose Mourinho for telling him to leave Real Madrid because he was buying Mesut Ozil in his position.
The Dutchman played under the Spurs boss at the Bernabeu for just two months in 2010 but the Portuguese had a big impact on him in that time.
Mourinho was appointed as Manuel Pellegrini's Blancos replacement at the end of May 2010.
And by the end of August that year Van der Vaart had left for Tottenham in a £10million transfer and Ozil had arrived at the Bernabeu for £25m from Werder Bremen.
But despite the quick turnaround, Van der Vaart, 38, told Paul Coyte's talkSPORT 2 Sportsday Breakfast show he is grateful for Mourinho's approach.
He said: "He is an amazing coach. 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.
“Although at that time he told me ‘Rafa, I’m going to buy Ozil. So I think it’s better you leave the club. 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.”
Van der Vaart also revealed he is delighted to see Real Madrid loanee Gareth Bale back in North London.
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He added: "I’m happy that he’s back at Spurs, but I’m more happy at what he’s doing now because I think he’s a great player.
“He did so much for Real Madrid and he deserves what he’s getting now and I hope it’s going to stay like that.
“I hope he can give Spurs a title after a long time, or FA Cup, or Champions League, or Europa League or Premier League."
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