Newcastle full-back Davide Santon has praised manager Alan Pardew, even likening him to Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho.
The 21-year-old played under Mourinho at Inter Milan for two years before the Portuguese moved to the Bernabeu in 2010.
Santon left the San Siro the following year, making a £5.5million move to St James' Park.
His first season on Tyneside was a success, playing his part in a memorable year for the north-east outfit, who ended the campaign in fifth and qualified for Europe.
Santon has praised Pardew for helping him to settle in at his new club, comparing the 51-year-old with the 'special one' himself.
"Pardew is a great coach with a lot in common with [Jose] Mourinho," he told Gazzetta dello Sport. "He's scrupulous, he teaches football, he knows tactics and opponents.
"The first few months were not easy. I didn't speak the language and coach Pardew kept me on the bench for some time.
"He explained I have to study the Premier League. He was right, he protected my integration."
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