Jose Mourinho says Real Madrid's upcoming clash with Manchester United in the last 16 of the Champions League is the "match the world wants to see", adding that the prospect of the two legged encounter is so tantalising that it should really be the final.
The Portuguese coach was spotted at Old Trafford, sitting alongside England boss Roy Hodgson, as he ran the rule over the Premier League leaders in their 2-1 victory over Liverpool yesterday, ahead of Real Madrid's meeting with United at the Santiago Bernabeu on February 13.
Mourinho admitted that Sir Alex Ferguson's side were the "toughest opponent" Real Madrid could have faced in the competition, but insisted he is confident of progressing to the quarter finals.
"This is the match the world wants to see," the former Chelsea manager told The Sun. "Real Madrid against Manchester United. Sir Alex against his friend Mourinho. The only shame is that it is not the final.
"We know we can beat them. We know they can beat us — but we will be ready."
Real Madrid have endured one of the most difficult draws in Europe's elite club competition this season, having been entered into this year's 'Group of Death', where they finished runners-up to Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund, knocking out Manchester United's local rivals Manchester City in the process.
Mourinho bemoaned the tough hand his side has been dealt, as he looks to win Real Madrid their 10th Champions League crown, as well as becoming the first manager to win the European Cup with three different clubs.
"There were groups where you knew who was going to be first and second after two or three games. But our group included three of the best five teams in the competition — Borussia Dortmund, Manchester City and ourselves.
"Now we get the toughest opponent in the biggest tie of the last 16."