Chelsea defender Ashley Cole admits that he misses playing against Cristiano Ronaldo.
The 28-year-old left-back was famed for his tussles with the Portuguese attacking star, who moved from Manchester United to Real Madrid for a world-record fee of ï¿½80million during the summer.
Cole tested his defensive abilities on a number of occasions against Ronaldo, for Chelsea and England, and he showed the winger an imaginary pocket in his shorts at Old Trafford.
"I miss playing against Cristiano Ronaldo, I really do," he said in the News of the World.
"Manchester United don't seem the same without him - he's the best player in the world.
"I used to love our battles. If I'm concentrating, on my day I can do well against anyone, but he was something else.
"I love his skills, but I nearly ripped my groin when I was first playing against him because he did a trick and I did the splits.
"My mates were killing me after and I thought, 'Right, he's never embarrassing me again'.
"A couple of years later at Chelsea I showed him the imaginary pocket in my shorts and their fans were lapping up the banter."
ClashWith England having already qualified for next year's World Cup and Portugal preparing for play-off games against Bosnia-Herzegovina, the pair could yet meet during the South Africa tournament.
And Cole admits that he is enjoying playing for his country again, after being booed by England fans when he misjudged a backpass against Kazakhstan last year.
"Everyone makes mistakes, but I have always given 100 per cent for my country and have never let them down," he added. "I have made a few mistakes, but that was hard to take.
"There were 90,000 people booing - you can't expect me to be happy. You'd have to ask them why they did it.
"Now it's a different atmosphere. If the players stay fit we have a chance of winning the World Cup."