MANCHESTER, England — Spain is 195,124 square miles, and for two years earlier this decade that was enough to contain two ginormous presences. They could work 314 miles apart – one in Madrid, the other in Barcelona – and leave just enough room for 48 million other people.

Greater Manchester is 493 square miles and about to attempt an experiment so unfathomably daring. As this weekend brings the opening of another Premier League season, the second-largest metropolitan area in Britain somehow will serve as a residence and workplace for Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola, soccer managers.

Can these two glam egos, with their impeccable attire and their captivating, comprehensive vanity, operate at stadiums four miles apart without choking up the traffic for about 2.55 million others? A world is about to learn.

Once the Olympic flame goes out in Rio de Janeiro, the center of global sports figures to become the one city in which, somehow, Mourinho will manage a freshly contending Manchester United on the southwest edge, while Guardiola will manage a still-contending Manchester City on the east edge.

Mourinho, 53, formerly at Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Chelsea again, will manage Manchester United, a club coming off finishes of seventh, fourth and fifth, with a fan base more used to first.

Guardiola, 45, formerly at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, will manage Manchester City, a club coming off a fourth-place finish after two titles this decade.

Even with lineups stocked with enough might that forecasts of a 1-2 finish are common, and with Manchester United adding splashy signees Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, eyes won’t resist the two managers.

On July 5 and July 8, they held their first news conferences. With their combined 14 league titles (eight by Mourinho) in four countries, and their four-of-the-last-12 Champions League titles (two each), each nonetheless fielded questions about what they had to prove, with Mourinho seven months removed from a firing at Chelsea, and Guardiola off three years of mere league titles viewed as normalcy for Bayern Munich.

Mourinho, who last won a Premier League title way, way back in 2015, said: “There are some managers that the last time they won a title was 10 years ago. Some of them, the last time they won a title was never. The last time I won a title was one year ago, not 10 years ago or 15 years ago, so if I have a lot to prove, imagine the others.”

He soon said, “I play against myself,” and, “Maybe you are tired with me because I started at such a young level.”

Guardiola, whose self-belief also glows yet who expresses it less colorfully, said: “That’s why I’m here. To prove myself.” And: “Here is another test for my career. It would have been comfortable to stay where I was.”

While Guardiola is seen as bringing motivation to a club needing motivation, Mourinho figures to provide more amusements. Early this month a member of the world players’ union had to apologize to Mourinho.

Mourinho had relegated the 32-year-old German star Bastian Schweinsteiger to train with the under-23 team. In turn, a former player, Dejan Stefanovic said Mourinho’s move constituted “bullying” and would warrant an indictment plus three years in prison in Slovenia.

Mourinho then said, “What is happening is what is happening in every club in the world. Which is that the manager decides his squad and chooses a certain number of players to face the season, and that’s it.”

It made for a fine start.