Dean Smith has revealed his excitement at the prospect of facing Cristiano Ronaldo when his Aston Villa team play Manchester United on Saturday.
United host Villa with kick-off at 12:30pm, and the Red Devils are aiming to continue their unbeaten start to the Premier League season and go top of the table.
But Smith’s side will prove a stern test for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men, with the Claret and Blue Army currently sitting 10th in the league following a highly impressive 3-0 drubbing of Everton.
Smith’s rise is extremely noteworthy, having bought success to Walsall, Brentford and now Villa, all while playing attractive, attacking football.
Ahead of Saturday’s clash, the English manager stated his desire to manage at the very top of the game, against players like Ronaldo every week: “My ambitions are to become a Champions League manager and [face players like Ronaldo] week-in week-out.
“We’ve got the opportunity tomorrow against one of the best in the world over the last 10 to 15 years, so it’s a great challenge and opportunity for my players.
“[Against Chelsea] the performance levels were good but unfortunately Romelu Lukaku came out on top with two goals.
“What we’ve got to do now is make sure we take the opportunity and try and get a clean sheet against Ronaldo.”