Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho travelled to Manchester on Sunday to watch United beat Everton ahead of this week’s mouth-watering Champions League fixture between the two European giants.
The Los Blancos boss, speaking exclusively to MUTV at Old Trafford, struggled to contain his excitement when asked about Wednesday night’s match at the Bernabeu.
“We have to feel very privileged to play this match,” he said. “People think we’re under pressure because one of the big teams will soon be out of the biggest competition. But Real Madrid and Manchester United staff, as well as the players, feel privileged. It’s the kind of match you want to play and we have to prepare as best we can.”
Madrid warmed up for the clash with a 4-1 win over Sevilla on Saturday night, with ex-Red Cristiano Ronaldo grabbing a 10-minute hat-trick. Mourinho was able to rest a number of other players, however, although he insists tiredness won’t be an issue come Wednesday evening.
“It’s such a big match,” he said. “Everybody wants to play. Nobody will be tired.
“It’s a match the world is waiting for. They are not waiting for other matches in the Champions League. So I hope we can give the world of football what they’re waiting for.”
Wednesday night also acts as the latest instalment in the managerial rivalry between Mourinho and Ferguson. Now firm friends away from the football pitch, the pair have met 14 times down the years, with Sir Alex emerging victorious just twice.