UEFA Elite Coaches Forum 2017.
(Front row, L-R): Ernesto Valverde, Massimiliano Allegri, Zinedine Zidane, Jose Mourinho, Leonardo Jardim (Back row, L-R): Giorgio Marchetti, Eduardo Berizzo, Rafa Benitez, Louis van Gaal, Aleksander Ceferin, Sir Alex Ferguson, Rui Vitoria, Pierluigi Collina
Jose Mourinho faced up to not one but two of his Manchester United predecessors as he met with Louis van Gaal and Sir Alex Ferguson at the UEFA Elite Coaches Forum on Wednesday.
The Portuguese has always shared a respectful relationship with Ferguson, but may have encountered a frosty reception from Van Gaal, who he has routinely criticised since taking over at Old Trafford in 2016.
They were joined by a host of other elite coaches from across Europe including Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane, PSG's Unai Emery and Newcastle's Rafa Benitez at the 19th edition of the annual conference.
With Ferguson acting as chair, the meeting is designed to give Europe's most influential coaches a chance to express their concerns and exchange views on the major issues facing European competition.
One notable absentee from the star-studded line-up of was Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who has been an influential figure at the conference in years gone by.
Although his absence is unexplained, Arsenal's busy end to the summer transfer market — Alexis Sanchez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are both expected to leave — makes for a fitting excuse. There was also no sight of Pep Guardiola, who is hoping to bring Sanchez to Manchester City before Thursday's deadline.
The day will also see UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin meet with former players including Peter Schmeichel and Xabi Alonso to discuss issues affecting today's stars.
They will discuss a wide range of topics including competition rules, laws of the game, football promotion, education and post-football activities.
It was a rare sighting of former Manchester United manager Van Gaal, who has yet to take on new work since his dismissal from Old Trafford. It was a worthwhile trip as he was presented with a special plaque for managing 100 European matches at club level.
ATTENDEES LIST AT UEFA HQ
Massimiliano Allegri (Juventus), Rafael Benítez (Newcastle), Eduardo Berizzo (Sevilla), Sergio Conceicao (Porto), Unai Emery (PSG), Bruno Genesio (Lyon), Leonardo Jardim (Monaco), Jose Mourinho (Manchester United), Maurizio Sarri (Napoli), Ernesto Valverde (Barcelona), Rui Vitoria (Benfica) and Zinedine Zidane (Real Madrid).
Xabi Alonso, Deco, Leonardo, Peter Schmeichel, Clarence Seedorf, Dejan Stanković, David Trezeguet and Javier Zanetti.