Jose Mourinho says Real Madrid’s clash with Manchester United in the last 16 of the Champions League is so tantalising it should really be the final.
The Portuguese hailed the encounter as the ‘match the world wants to see’ and said Sir Alex Ferguson’s side were the ‘toughest opponent’ Real could have faced in the competition.
Mourinho was at Old Trafford yesterday, next to England boss Roy Hodgson, to scout United before they travel to Madrid for the first leg on February 13.
‘This is the match the world wants to see,’ the Special One told The Sun. ‘Real Madrid against Manchester United. Sir Alex against his friend Mourinho.
‘The only shame is that it is not the final.’boss, is bidding to win the European Cup with a third different club and become the only manager to do so.
He added: ‘We know we can beat them. We know they can beat us — but we will be ready.’
Madrid, who will bring Cristiano Ronaldo back to Old Trafford, knocked out United’s neighbours City in the ‘Group of Death’ but finished runners up to German side Borussia Dortmund.
And Mourinho bemoaned the difficult draw his team were being given this season.
He said: ‘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.’