Claudio Ranieri is looking forward to his reunion with managerial counterpart Louis van Gaal, who he once bested three times in 10 days during the pair’s time in Spain.
Table-topping Leicester City host Manchester United in the Premier League on Saturday, with Ranieri out to continue his strong record against Van Gaal.
Ranieri completed a hat-trick of wins in just over a week against Van Gaal’s Barcelona as Valencia went on to win the 1999 Copa del Rey title.
Reflecting on his Valencia days, Ranieri told La Gazzetta dello Sport: “I remember it well. On February 18th, 3-2 at Barcelona in the first leg of the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey.
“On the 24th, 4-3 to us at the Mestalla in the return leg and the 27th 4-2 at the Camp Nou in La Liga.
“At the end of the season we won the Copa del Rey, beating Atletico Madrid 3-0 in the final. We had a great squad.”
Leicester remarkably top the standings with just one defeat from 13 matches.
United are one point adrift ahead of their trip to King Power Stadium.
“It is a big challenge,” Ranieri added.
“Manchester United are a giant of world football and Van Gaal is one of the best coaches around.”