Special One pays tribute to old mentor van Gaal

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Ahead of Saturday's Champions League final clash between Inter Milan and Bayern Munich, José Mourinho suggested Louis van Gaal as a key figure in his development as a coach.

Louis van Gaal and his then assistant Jose Mourinho watch from the bench
Photo: REUTERS/Gustau Nacarino
Mourinho worked under van Gaal at Barcelona in the late 1990s, when the Portuguese was taking his first steps as a coach.

"He is a great coach and I learned a lot from him, my time with him definitely marked me," Mourinho told journalists.

"For three years we worked together and his house was 50 metres from my house, so we almost worked 24 hours a day together.

"We had a really special rapport. He showed faith, gave me confidence and responsibility.

"I worked like an animal, I worked so hard but with so much joy. I learned stuff from him but the most important thing was that to succeed, you have to work so hard.

"It's been 12-13 years but I never forget those times and that person who was fantastic for me."

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