Louis van Gaal savoured his role as the godfather of a new generation of Dutch coaches as he prepared to face his protege Phillip Cocu.
The Manchester United manager coached PSV Eindhoven boss Cocu during his time in charge of Barcelona and in his first stint at the helm of the Netherlands national team.
Feyenoord manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst also played in Van Gaal's Netherlands and Barcelona sides while Ajax head coach Frank de Boer worked under him for the Amsterdam club, the national team and in Spain.
And with United facing PSV in the Champions League on Tuesday, Van Gaal reflected with satisfaction on the way they have followed him into management.
"They have all played under me," he said in a news conference on Monday. "You could see when they were players that they think about the game and that is not natural. Not every player thinks about the game.
"Phillip Cocu and Frank de Boer did and I thought they would become trainer-coaches. I am very happy that Frank de Boer and Phillip Cocu and Giovanni van Bronckhorst are doing the job that I have done. It is nice to see and I will follow their progress."
Van Gaal was close to becoming PSV manager in 2012, according to Eindhoven's director of football Marcel Brands, but he insisted that United will be his last job and that he will not take charge at the Philips Stadion.
"Now the moment has passed so I shall not work anymore in PSV because I shall retire after my job in Manchester so it is not possible," he said.
"But what I have read was true. It is also a process but the time was not good for me to come here."