Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola have dismissed suggestions there will animosity between them during the Manchester derby – they may well even share a glass of wine once the action is over.
Manchester United play neighbours and rivals Manchester City at Old Trafford on Saturday (12:30 BST) in one of the most eagerly anticipated Manchester derbies for decades.
Both United and City have new ‘super coaches’ in Mourinho and Guardiola respectively and have started the Premier League season with 100 per centwinning records.
The clubs spent heavily in the record-breaking summer transfer window, with United re-signing Paul Pogba for an £89m world record fee, and City making £47.5m John Stones the second most expensive defender in history.
But former Barcelona boss Guardiola suggested any personal rivalry with ex-Real Madrid manager Mourinho was created “from the media”.
“We can’t control that,” added the Spaniard. “I said it many times – I have a lot of respect for Mourinho, I always try to learn from all of my colleagues – it’s the same with him.
“He was my coach, my assistant coach with Sir Bobby Robson. OK, the last period at Barcelona and Real Madrid was not easy for both of us but we met each other two, three weeks ago at the managers’ Premier League meeting.
“Of course I’ll accept a glass of wine after the game if he invites me.”
Portuguese Mourinho added: “I know what the derby means. I’ve played them everywhere, but I always want to be in a position of emotional control. If we want to win we have to be at the top.
“(City) have a very good manager. They always have very good players and bought more. They are what they are since I returned to England. They are a title contender and you have to respect them.”
Either United or City have been Premier League champions for seven of the past 10 seasons, BBC said.
Of the 171 previous Manchester derbies, United have won 71, City 49, with 51 drawn.
In 1973-74, the match at Maine Road, City’s old ground, had to be temporarily stopped because City’s Mike Doyle and United’s Lou Macari refused to leave the pitch after being sent off. In the second derby of the season, United legend Denis Law scored for City with a backheel as the Red Devils were relegated from the top flight.
City did not win a game against their rivals for 13 years from September 1989, but then signed off from Maine Road by beating Sir Alex Ferguson’s side 3-1.
More recently, City won 6-1 at Old Trafford in 2011, a game during which Mario Balotelli revealed his ‘Why Always Me?’ T-shirt after scoring.
Marcus Rashford’s winner for United at Etihad Stadium was the only Manchester derby goal last season.