It's been more than decade since his South Melbourne team fell to the Red Devils in Brazil, and now the A-League All Stars coach has a second chance at beating the best
Ange Postecoglou is set to renew acquaintances with some illustrious opponents on Saturday, when he coaches against Manchester United for the second time in his career.
Melbourne Victory's Postecoglou is preparing the inaugural A-League All Stars team for their exhibition game against the English Premier League champions at a sold-out ANZ Stadium in Sydney.
It is 13 years since his last meeting with one of the biggest clubs in world football, when Postecoglou's South Melbourne played United in the 2000 FIFA Club World Championships.
United, then under the management of Sir Alex Ferguson, defeated National Soccer League champions South Melbourne 2-0, South African Quinton Fortune scoring both goals in Rio de Janeiro.
"It was a unique opportunity that came across my path," Postecoglou said.
"It was a fantastic highlight, we played them at the Maracana and it was one of those moments in your career you definitely reflect on.
"Their team's changed a fair bit since then but they're still successful. And if anything, they've become a bigger and even more successful club since then.
"It's just phenomenal what they've done over the last 20-30 years."
Postecoglou, who said his starting line-up for the game will be decided on fitness and how players perform in training during the week ahead, intends to give every member of his squad some game-time against United.
"I think we need to give all of them [a run]," he said.
"It's part of the experience. We're asking a lot of them. They're working hard in training, doing a lot of community work and I think the reward for that is to play.
"It's part of my brief is to give them as much of the experience as possible so they get rewarded for putting their hand up and playing for this team."
"The reality is probably none of them are ready to play 90 minutes. Some of them can probably play 60, 70. We'll have a look at who's in the best nick by the end of the week and make our decisions.
"I think we've got a really good group of players and there's a number of combinations that I think will work really well.
Postecoglou knows it will be a challenging encounter against new United boss David Moyes and his elite group of players, but remains confident of causing the visitors problems.
"We respect the fact it's going to be a challenging task ... if you tackle it with the right attitude you can still get the outcomes you want," he said.
"From my perspective it's about trying to get the players to gel as quickly as possible, play with a style and a system that's going to suit the majority of them.
"Hopefully come Saturday night we're going to have the foundation of being able to play some good football."