Antonio Valencia has praised Sir Alex Ferguson for helping him prosper at Manchester United.
The 25-year-old arrived at Old Trafford in 2009 with the prospect of replacing Cristiano Ronaldo after his departure to Real Madrid.
The Ecuadorian midfielder has flourished since joining the Red Devils despite an injury-hit season this term, pointing to the management skills of Ferguson as the secret to his success.
A strong presence down the flanks, Valencia admitted he initially had his doubts over whether he had what it took to step into the shoes of Portuguese sensation Ronaldo.
"I knew how good Ronaldo was, but the best thing the manager did to take the pressure off me was to say, 'I've signed you to do your job, not to be Cristiano Ronaldo. Come here, do your job well and we will all be happy'," he told MUTV.
"That really did help me settle. It meant I could just concentrate on being me.
"One of my ambitions was to move to a big club and I had always liked and admired United.
"But when I first heard they were interested in me I didn't believe it. I was thinking, 'Here I am at Wigan and one of the biggest clubs in the world want me - it couldn't be true'.
"It was only when I spoke to Sir Alex Ferguson that I began to believe it was true. And as soon as I could, I rang my family back home in Ecuador and told them the news.
"One of the things that struck me was how hard they all work. I had heard about their winning mentality - and I can tell you that it really does exist."
Valencia suffered a fractured and dislocated ankle following a challenge with Kirk Broadfoot of Rangers at Old Trafford in September.
While the winger admits that the road to recovery has been tough, the ovation and support he received from the United fans has given him confidence on his return.
"You do worry about that first challenge. It is a big concern," he added.
"You think you will take care and tread carefully for the first few games but as soon as you are on the pitch, in the heat of the battle, you have to get stuck in.
"My first big challenge was against Marseille. I went in with my left foot and it did hurt a bit, but once you are in a game you just forget about it.
"My sister was in the crowd when I made my comeback against Arsenal and she said the reception I got was the sort you'd expect for David Beckham.
"When you hear that sort of support it gives you extra motivation - you don't want to disappoint all those people."