Emmanuel Adebayor has praised Patrick Vieira for helping him emerge from one of the darkest moments in his life.
Last year, Adebayor was lucky to escape with his life after the Togo team coach was attacked in Angola ahead of the African Cup of Nations.
Not surprisingly, this episode caused his Manchester City career to stall after a bright start following his £25million move from Arsenal.
It culminated in him signing on loan for Real Madrid in January and he feels the move was vindicated after helping them beat Barcelona 1-0 in the Copa del Rey final on Wednesday.
But he will never forget the role played by his Manchester City team-mate Vieira, who offered him counsel at a critical time.
"I remember when Patrick told me 'Manu, football is like a big tyre, it's a rotation. You just have to keep going, never give up'," said Adebayor.
"Today, if I have to dedicate this trophy to somebody, for sure I would give it to Patrick because he's like my godfather in football.
"When I was going through my difficult moment, he was unbelievable. He was there for me as a brother, as a father.
"He was even at my house telling me 'Manu, listen, football is a strange game, never give up. You don't know what tomorrow brings'.
"So after a couple of months I am here winning the cup with Real Madrid. All my love goes to Patrick.
"He sent me a message saying 'I'm happy for seeing you celebrating like a baby, enjoying your life again'."
For Adebayor, 27, the Spanish Cup success is his first major trophy as a professional.
After losing previous finals with former clubs Monaco and Arsenal, it only served to make him hungry to succeed this time around.
He added: "When I got onto the pitch I just told myself 'Manu, you played a couple of finals with Arsenal and Monaco and you have lost them. So tonight just do everything you can do to help your team to win it'."