Sir Alex Ferguson has hailed Jose Mourinho as one of the best coaches in the world ahead of Manchester United's UEFA Champions League clash with Inter Milan on Tuesday.
United travel to the Giuseppe Meazza for the first-leg of their last 16 tie, and Ferguson cannot wait to again lock horns with Mourinho.
"He's one of the best coaches in the world, amazing," said Ferguson after seeing his side clinch a 2-1 win over Blackburn on Saturday evening. "I knew of him when we played Porto in 2004 but it wasn't until Jose went to Chelsea and called himself the Special One that I began to take notice of him.
"But don't forget he was self anointed! When he called himself that people sat up and I did too. But his achievements were there to be recognised.
"I don't know everything about Jose or what he does on the training ground, but you can't deny his success to win the UEFA Cup with Porto as well as two or three domestic titles in Portugal.
"Then he won the Champions League with them and that takes some doing at a club like Porto."
Fergie also had praise for Mourinho's domestic success as both clubs currently top their respective leagues.
"After that he won the two titles at Chelsea. It will be good going, too, if he wins the title in his first season at Inter - so he has made his mark alright,'' he said. "He came in and said he was the Special One and we were thinking, 'who is this?'. After that his team were thinking they'd better win and they got off to a start like nothing on earth.
''Everyone was chasing their tail for two seasons so we had to do something about it - and that's what we did.
"Jose was the instigator of the Chelsea team without question. He gave them a resilience and a winning mentality that has put them onto that higher level and it made it hard for us to compete against them."