Jose Mourinho expects to be facing the world’s top team when Inter Milan tackle Manchester United in the Champions League but he could not resist a typical swipe about Wayne Rooney’s availability.
‘I wanted United because I want to face the best,’ he added.
‘They are European champions and will probably become world champions.
'They have the Ballon d’Or winner in Cristiano Ronaldo, many other great players and a great coach in Sir Alex.
'All this will motivate us.’
Mourinho then took a dig at UEFA for ignoring Rooney’s stamp on Aalborg’s Kasper Risgard in United’s final group game, a decision which cleared the striker to meet Inter in the last 16 in February.
The former Chelsea boss, recalling Michael Essien’s ban for a bad tackle on Liverpool’s Dietmar Hamann in 2005, said: ‘If they are the rules, they must be respected.
'But something extraordinary happened to me when I was at Chelsea.
'The rules were changed exclusively for us. We played in the group phase in the same group as Liverpool.
‘This could not happen now and Essien was disqualified for three matches through trial by TV.
'The same thing didn’t happen with Rooney last week.
'So he will be available against us.’
United, who are in Sunday's Club World Cup Final in Japan, are away to Inter first and Ferguson said: ‘It will be interesting to come up against Jose again.
‘He’s a character with a good personality and I’ve always got on well with him.
'He knocked us out of the competition when he was at Porto, so I hope we have the luck they had in that tie this time round.’