Ramires credits one man for the positive changes that are evident in his own game… and it's not himself.
It speaks volumes of the regard commanded by Ramires that he is rumoured to be placed favourably on Real Madrid's shortlist of priority transfer targets, but Los Blancos may find that the Chelsea midfielder would prove difficult to prise away from Stamford Bridge as he is fast developing a loyalty to one man.
That man, he claims, is solely responsible for the continued development of his own playing style… that man is Jose Mourinho.
Speaking to the club's official website recently, Ramires said: 'Mourinho is a very decent coach [and] is doing an excellent job. He manages to motivate his players and offers a chance to everyone. I have evolved since his arrival.
'I hope to continue to help and do what he expects of me.'
While Mourinho's selection policy has been scrutinised since his return to the Premier League (see: Juan Mata), and his ability to nurture top young talent (see: Romelu Lukaku, Kevin de Bruyne) has also come to be questioned, it is refreshing to see a Blue - an insider if you will - praise the Portuguese for precisely what the pundits criticise him for.
To date, Ramires has featured in every single minute of Chelsea's Premier League campaign and has demonstrated an adept all-round ability with an 86% passing accuracy, an 85% tackling success, a decent crossing nous and has created 15 chances.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald