Jose Mourinho believes David Moyes has all the attributes to carry on Sir Alex Ferguson's success at Manchester United.
Moyes will replace Ferguson this summer after the veteran manager, 26 years in the job at Old Trafford, announced he is to retire at the end of the season.
Mourinho, reportedly close to leaving Real Madrid, was viewed as a contender to replace Ferguson himself. But, in an interview with Sky Sports, he wished Moyes success at United and Ferguson a happy retirement.
"When Sir Alex called me to give me the honour of knowing from him his decision, I was surprised and sad," Mourinho said.
"At the same time, I was happy to feel his emotion, and pride for such an amazing career.
"It will be difficult for me, and I think all managers, to go to Old Trafford and play against Manchester United, without this mythical figure waiting for us.
"I think David is a great choice. I like him as a person, I like his character as a manager. I believe Manchester United will support him, I think he has the qualities to do a good job.
"I wish Sir Alex a happy life, and I wish David a successful career at Old Trafford."
Mourinho now looks set to return to former club Chelsea and he dropped another hint that Stamford Bridge could be his next destination when asked if he had thought about replacing Ferguson.
"We are good friends, and my good friends know which club I would like to manage when I finish my work at Real Madrid," Mourinho added.
He also admitted he wouldn't be watching Ferguson's final game in charge of United, a trip to West Brom on May 19, as he would be overcome with emotion. He said: "No, certainly not - no, I don't want to cry!"