In Pictures: The history of Jose Mourinho vs Sir Alex Ferguson
Jose Mourinho vs Sir Alex Ferguson - Real Madrid vs Manchester United
So here it is, after nearly a decade from the last time they met in a thrilling encounter at Old Trafford, Manchester United and Real Madrid are ready to go head to head once again. Yes, it is in fact that fixture back in 2003, when Manchester United won 4-3 (losing 5-6 on aggregate) that Roman Abramovich says made the idea of owning a football club an attractive venture.
But it's not just the two clubs facing each other again that makes this so exciting, nor is it the fact that it's a Champions League knockout tie. As two of the modern era's finest managers reunite a battle that has been stalled for nearly four years. It's Jose Mourinho vs Sir Alex Ferguson. Both two times Champions League winners, gunning for a third under different circumstances. Mourinho's job is perhaps on the line, or rather his reputation, with a so far unsuccessful season, now depending on the elusive Champions League a possible savior. Whilst Ferguson's remarkable managerial career is inevitably running out.
They're two of the Premier League's most dominate managers during the 2000s, along with Arsene Wenger and there is no denying the intriguing 'rivalry' between the two. So, let the mind games begin (although Ferguson says they are a mere myth), the crucial team talk discussion commence and get ready to anticipate Wednesday nights' part 1 of the last 16 show down - yes, that's what you get for winning your group Manchester United.
I take a look back into the history between 'The Special One' and probably The Greatest One, which includes five different clubs and four different competitions. It's a preview to Real Madrid vs Manchester United, it's Sir Alex Ferguson vs Jose Mourinho.
By Stowe Gregory - @stowegregory
Magic FC Porto
So, this is where it all began, way back nearly a decade in 2004. Manchester United were drawn against the slightly unknown Jose Mourinho and his FC Porto side in the Champions League Last 16.
The first leg, in Portugal, finished 2-1 to Mourinho's men, leaving United with an uphill task in the return.
Sir Alex Ferguson's side took the lead in the 2nd leg, leaving United set for the quarter finals. But in a last gasp error from United keeper Tim Howard, Francisco Costinha scored an equaliser on the night, sending Porto through on aggregate.
But it was Mourinho's reaction and celebration that is so memorable. He announced himself to the World by running down the touch-line and sliding on his knees in-front of the Old Trafford crowd, creating an iconic modern era moment.
Porto and Mourinho went on to win the Champions League that season, beating AS Monaco 3-0.
The Special One
The start of a new era for Chelsea began with the appointment of Jose Mourinho, who in his first press conference, he announced to the world "I am the Special One."
With the Premier League season perfectly set up, Chelsea and Manchester United faced each other in the opening game.
Eider Gudjohnsen scored in a 1-0 win for the Blues, making it Mourinho 3-0 Ferguson.
Chelsea would later go on to knock out United in League Cup semi-finals, 2-1 on aggregate before lifting the trophy months later.
The 04-05 season, Mourinho's first in England ended up with Chelsea being crowned Premier League champions. Having already won the title, Chelsea went to Old Trafford and won 3-1, in a season where they achieved a record 95 points.
Mourinho had turned up and taken England by a storm. Ferguson's latest challenge had arrived.
Mourinho 4-0 Ferguson
Ferguson's 1st win vs Mourinho
Into the 2005-06 season and Ferguson finally ended the succession of poor results against Mourinho, with a 1-0 win. A then young Darren Fletcher headed home to end an unbeaten run for Chelsea in the League which had lasted 40 games.
Mourinho 4-1 Ferguson
Back to back
But Mourinho's Chelsea retained their title.
Chelsea sealed the title with a 3-0 win over United at Stamford Bridge. A match which was remembered well for the injury Wayne Rooney received to his metatarsal, leaving his World Cup dreams in tatters.
Mourinho 5-1 Ferguson.
"You'll never win three in a row"
2006-07 and a massive relief for all at Manchester United, in one of their favourite title wins in recent times.
Ferguson and Mourinho ended up drawing both their Premier League games, but Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson were back to their very best, and Cristiano Ronaldo was beginning to shine
Ferguson also stopped Mourinho and Chelsea winning their third consecutive title, a feat that United would proudly achieve in the following years.
Mourinho conceded the fact that United would win the League that year (2006 - 2007), but told his fans to 'keep their chins up' with the FA Cup final ahead.
And yes, it was Ferguson's United who stood in Mourinho's chance of another trophy.
But in the first final at the newly rebuilt Wembley Stadium, Didier Drogba scored a late extra time winner to deny Ferguson the League and Cup double.
However, just a few weeks into the following season and 2006-07 would prove to be Mourinho's final full season in England, so far..
Mourinho 6-1 Ferguson.
In 2009, Ferguson and Mourinho met again for the first time in over two years, in the Champions League.
Mourinho, at that time. the manager of Inter Milan fell to Ferguson's side in the Last 16 after a 0-0 draw and then a 2-0 United win.
Nemanja Vidic and the then World Player of the Year, Cristiano Ronaldo scored to help United reach the final, which they eventually lost to Barcelona - thus failing to retain their European crown.
Mourinho would win his second Champions League with Inter the next season, but the relationship between the two had clearly gathered great respect. Since, they are yet to have met in a game, but have on multiple occasions spoken highly of one another.
Mourinho 6-2 Ferguson.
So with the latest installment in Jose Mourinho vs Sir Alex Ferguson, what will happen next?
It's games like these which you really, really look forward to and anticipate. There are few fixtures between the two clubs, let alone the two managers.
Ferguson has made no secret that he is aware of the poor record he has vs Mourinho. But it is really going to be interesting. He's said a major factor is knowing which team to pick, whilst Mourinho has over the years been the 'mind games' genius and tactical magician - at times.
By Stowe Gregory - @stowegregory