Roberto Mancini is looking forward to locking horns with an old cohort when City take on Chelsea on Saturday lunchtime.
Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti was an opponent of Mancini's as part of the superb AC Milan side of the late 1980s but he was also a teammate in the Italian national side when the pair represented their country in the same era.
Their subsequent moves into management have seen them go up against each other in Serie A, most recently in the "Derby della Madonnina" - the Milan derby, where Mancini had the edge over Ancelotti, with four wins to two in the league while at Inter.
Assessing his opposite number and the task at hand on Saturday, Mancini declared: "Carlo's a good friend of mine, we played together for the national team many times. I played against him in Italy for 15 years as well. He's a good man, a good manager and he certainly has a strong team to look after.
"We didn't think about the future back when we played, but he knows a great deal about football. Like me he played at the top level for many years, and he won many medals in Italy
"With that and all the times he played for the national side, he picked up plenty of good experience that he is using now as a manager. When we were in the Italian squad, we both talked and thought a lot about the game before we played.
He's a good guy but a tough one as well. You need to be to win in Italy and he has brought that with him to Chelsea.
...Mancini on Ancelotti...
"It will be another tough game, they are a top team and we need to concentrate like we did against Liverpool. If we play like we did at times against Stoke as well, then we have a chance but we must take our chances to score when they happen. We must be positive."
Mancini has reduced options with both Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Adebayor suspended, but he's pleased with the parts played by Pablo Zabaleta and Vincent Kompany whose versatility have given him options.
"Pablo played very well, I think he is better in the middle but he is a good player to have because he can play in so many places. It's good for a manager to have someone like him around," praised the manager.
"Vincent is the same, Stoke was the first time he has played in midfield for me but he also played very well. They give me more to choose from and that's a big help."