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Saturday 15 December 2018

Jose Mourinho does not regret Arsene Wenger feuds and pays tribute to outgoing Arsenal manager

Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho square up
Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho square up

Mark Critchley

Jose Mourinho has claimed that he has no regrets over his long-running feud with Arsene Wenger, insisting that he has a great amount of respect for the outgoing Arsenal manager.

Wenger announced on Friday that he will leave Arsenal at the end of the season, bringing his 22-year reign at the helm of the north London club to an end.

Among the three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups, Wenger has also verbally sparred with Mourinho on several occasions and the pair once came to physical blows on the touchline during the Portuguese’s time at Chelsea.

Mourinho, now in charge of Manchester United, has previously labelled Wenger a “voyeur” and a “specialist in failure”, but he believes those previous remarks are now irrelevant given the mutual respect between “football people”.

“It’s not about regretting,” the United manager said. “I think your question is a typical question from somebody that was not in this side, you were not a manager, a player. Of course you don’t know the way we respect each other, even when sometimes it doesn’t look like we don’t.

“Players that get yellow cards and red cards by aggression actions against each other, bad words during the career, the manager is the same thing, but the ones that respect more each other are the ones with the problems.

“It’s power and ambition and quality against each other but in the end it’s people from the same business and respect each others’ careers. So it happened, what matters for me is the way I respect the person, the professional, the career.

“I always say that for some the memories short, but for us football people, the real football people, who are the ones inside the four lines, playing, or the managers, or the refs, the others live on us, the football people doesn’t have short memory.

“I know what it means, three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups, what he did in Japan and France, what he brought to French football and what he gave to Arsenal in the period without Premier Leagues, the transition from stadium to stadium, we know what he did.

“If he’s happy with the decision, I’m really happy and I hope he doesn’t retire from football.”

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