Javier Hernandez has described former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson as one of the most important people in his life and says the pair remain in close contact.
Ferguson enjoyed an unrivalled period of success during his 27 years at Old Trafford before retiring at the end of the 2012-13 season.
The Scot signed Mexico striker Hernandez from Guadalajara in July 2010 and he became a fan favourite during his time in Manchester.
Hernandez found himself out of favour following the appointment of Louis van Gaal in 2014 and was sent on loan to Real Madrid last season before joining Bayer Leverkusen on a permanent deal in August.
Hernandez told BBC Sport Ferguson remains a big influence on his career, saying: "For me he is the best. He gave me the chance to make my dream come true, to play first of all in Europe and in one of the biggest clubs in football history.
"I always say that, for me, Sir Alex Ferguson is one of the most important people in my life. I'm still in touch with him and when I played in the Champions League [for Real Madrid last season] before the Atletico Madrid game he texted me. We have a lot of contact.
"When I was going to Madrid on loan I spoke with him in person. I went to his house and we spoke very well. We keep in contact as good as we can - obviously he has a lot of things to do and spend time with his family, that's why he retired.
"I'm also in another country and trying to do my best as well."
Hernandez has proved a success in the Bundesliga with 14 goals in 20 league appearances, but the 27-year-old insisted he harbours no ill feeling towards Van Gaal for not having the opportunity to prove himself to the Dutchman at Old Trafford.
"Of course it's disappointing when someone doesn't give you 100 per cent confidence in the world, but I say thank you to him to his face and also now.
"I always say that he was very honest. He said if I get a good offer and the club like it and I like it he will be happy to let me go."