Ruud van Nistelrooy revealed the pride he felt as Sir Alex Ferguson watched him manage his PSV Eindhoven side for the first time at Ibrox.
The legendary Manchester United manager sat next to Rangers great John Greig in the director’s box during last night’s Champions League play-off first-leg.
Van Nistelrooy, who spent five trophy-laden years at Old Trafford under Fergie’s leadership and scored 150 times in 219 appearances between 2001 and 2006, admitted he was thrilled to see his former boss in attendance to watch him in action on the touchline.
He stated: “I saw Sir Alex Ferguson, he said ‘good to see you again’. And he thought it was a beautiful match.
“He said he was proud of me and he likes seeing me being a coach and running along the side of the pitch. I was especially proud that he saw me coaching and manage my team.
“I’m glad he’s well. I spoke to him just briefly but he’s looking great. His family is well. As I say, it was great to see him. We talked about how we were. We did not discuss United - or players. It was just a personal chat, really.
“For him to see me on the touchline at Ibrox is a proud moment for me. I learned so much from him.
“When you develop yourself as a coach, you obviously look back at the managers you had, what they did, how they formed a team, the style of play and how they managed individuals.
“He is such an example in that sense.
Van Nistelrooy believes his PSV team hold a narrow advantage heading into the second leg at the Philips Stadion next week after playing out a 2-2 draw in Glasgow.
The 46-year-old praised his side for the way they handled the intense Ibrox atmosphere and called on the club’s supporters to give his players the edge in the tie.
He told BT Sport: “I think so, there’s a slight advantage. But you could say today as well that it’s so balanced between both teams.
“Next week is a final and hopefully our crowd can lift us just that little bit.
“It’s a compliment to the team the way we played and calmed the ground. Obviously the crowd exploded again at 2-1 but we kept going and doing what we were doing.”