Tuesday's UEFA Super Cup in Skopje pits two of European football's traditional heavyweights against one another.
Each of Real Madrid's previous competitive meetings with Manchester United have come in the Champions League or European Cup, with many of the stellar names from each club's rich history to the fore.
Money-spinning friendlies in the United States might mark the latest frontier for this decades-long rivalry but it is a fixture where the biggest reputations have been made or enhanced when the stakes are highest.
2013 - Real Madrid 1 Manchester United 1; Manchester United 1 Real Madrid 2
Alex Ferguson's final tilt at Champions League glory ended in controversy after a red card for United winger Nani turned the second-leg of a last-16 clash at Old Trafford on its head. Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir was very much in a minority when he deemed an aerial challenge by the Portugal international on Alvaro Arbeloa worthy of dismissal. At that stage, a Sergio Ramos own goal had United ahead on aggregate following a first-leg draw at the Santiago Bernabeu. But Jose Mourinho's Madrid were ruthless after being handed the numerical advantage. Luka Modric, on for Arbeloa, fired home from the edge of the area before an apologetic Cristiano Ronaldo - also a goalscorer against his former club in the initial game - netted the winner on the night.
2003 - Real Madrid 3 Manchester United 1; Manchester United 4 Real Madrid 3
One for the ages. Although Madrid were ultimately unable to defend the European title they won in 2002, their virtuoso showing over the course of this quarter-final tie arguably represented the high watermark of the Galacticos project. United were thoroughly outgunned in the Spanish capital as Luis Figo curled home a majestic opener and Raul helped himself to a brace. Brazilian great Ronaldo took centre stage at Old Trafford with a powerhouse hat-trick. United were not done, though, as a brace from fired-up substitute David Beckham - the England captain who would join Madrid later that year - helped them to the consolation of a victory over the 90 minutes. It was a game with far reaching consequences as an enraptured spectator, Roman Abramovich, decided he wanted to buy a football club.
2000 - Real Madrid 0 Manchester United 0; Manchester United 2 Real Madrid 3
Defending European champions United emerged from the Bernabeu with a creditable 0-0 quarter-final draw but a sublime Madrid dispatched them at Old Trafford on the way to the title. Captain Roy Keane put through his own net and former Liverpool favourite Steve McManaman delighted in setting up Raul to double Los Blancos' advantage on a clinical second-half breakaway. Fernando Redondo's outlandish backheel to beat Henning Berg led to Raul's second. Foreshadowing the late rally to come three years later, Beckham scored brilliantly and Paul Scholes netted a late penalty to give the home fans some cheer.
1968 - Manchester United 1 Real Madrid 0; Real Madrid 3 Manchester United 3
In order to win their first European title, United had to overcome the competition's most decorated club. George Best established a slender first-leg advantage at Old Trafford before the wheels almost came off entirely for Matt Busby's side in the return. Pirri levelled the tie before Francisco Gento and Amancio Amaro put Madrid in the ascendancy. An own goal before half-time gave the English champions hope and David Sadler and Bill Foakes were the unlikely heroes, setting up the Reds for their night of nights at Wembley against Benfica, where they would rule Europe 10 years on from the Munich air disaster.
1957 - Real Madrid 3 Manchester United 1; Manchester United 2 Real Madrid 2
The Busby Babes became the first English team to compete in the European Cup and stormed to a club record 10-0 win over Anderlecht en route to a semi-final appointment with Madrid. The second of five consecutive European crowns were on the agenda for a stellar side boasting the likes of Alfredo di Stefano, Raymond Kopa and Gento. United managed to overcome reigning La Liga champions Athletic Bilbao in the previous round but goals from Tommy Taylor in either leg could not halt the Madrid charge.