From his days a Liverpool player, Xabi Alonso knows exactly what awaits him when Real Madrid take on Manchester United in the Champions League.
The Red Devils will arrive at the Bernabeu this week a team on the up, having taken a virtually unassailable lead in the English Premier League of late.
Los Blancos meanwhile, have blown hot and cold this season, and will welcome the English champions elect with a mixed degree of confidence and trepidation.
One factor that has Alonso feeling bullish however, is the presence of two-time European Cup winner, Jose Mourinho, in Real Madrid’s dugout.
The midfielder says The Special One “was made” for matches like the United clash, and that he will be relishing taking on the best England has to offer.
"Mourinho is made for games like this one against United,” football intellectual Alonso said of the Real manager in The Times.
"The way he prepares the game, the way he analyses the opponents, the way he approaches us in terms of giving us a psychological edge and extra motivation, he loves these occasions."
"They have that United thing: it is hard to put into words, but it means that they are always competitive against anyone,” Alonso added, drawing on his experience playing United while at Anfield.
"It is probably a Ferguson thing, because he is them and they are him, the team has taken on his psychology.
"He is that edge and that transmits from him to his players, something that I saw at first hand during my Liverpool years.
"So we are expecting a very intense, difficult tie.”