Jose Mourinho is confident his friendship with Sir Alex Ferguson will continue no matter what the outcome of this week's Champions League showdown between Manchester United and Real Madrid.
Mourinho met with Ferguson ahead of United's 2-0 win over Everton at Old Trafford on Sunday, an indication of the close relationship between the pair. And, while the Madrid boss knows no quarter is going to be given at the Bernabeu on Wednesday, he thinks his relationship with Ferguson is strong enough for the loser to feel a small degree of pleasure at the other man's success.
"I feel privileged about that because he is such an important person in the world of football and, more importantly, he is good person," said Mourinho. "I have always had a fantastic relationship with him and I am proud of it."
He added: "We have had so many matches between us which started with Porto. We had some with Chelsea, Inter and now Real. Some I had won, some I have lost, others I have drawn.
"Of course, I want to win and he wants to win, but I believe the loser will have a little bit of space to feel a little bit happy because of the friendship.
"But make no mistake, I want to win."
Mourinho will hope Cristiano Ronaldo can prove to be an inspirational presence against his former club.
Ronaldo scored yet another hat-trick against Sevilla on Saturday, proving what good form he is in, even if Madrid remain a distant third to Barcelona in La Liga.
Nevertheless, as Mourinho points out, it is a match that has captivated the imagination.
"It is the match the world is waiting for," Mourinho told MUTV. "People think we are under pressure because a big team will be out. But it is the kind of match we want and the people are not waiting for any other game. I hope we give them what they want."