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.
Mourinho knows this season’s matches against United won’t be easy but says his friendship with Ferguson means potential defeat won’t taste quite so bitter.
“We’ve had so many matches between us, with Porto, Chelsea, Internazionale and now with Real Madrid. In every club I meet Sir Alex. I’ve won games, I’ve lost, I’ve drawn.
“[This time] I want to win and he wants to win. But I believe the loser, in the middle of being a bit sad, will have a little bit of space to feel a little bit happy because their friend has won.”