Alex Ferguson's tribute to Arsene Wenger on his decision to leave Arsenal is as classy as it gets
Alex Ferguson has paid tribute to his former rival Arsene Wenger as the Frenchman announced his departure from Arsenal after 22 years at the helm.
Wenger's arrival was the first great challenge to the dominance of Ferguson's Manchester United in the Premier League era and they shared many battles that now regularly feature among lists of the competition's best-ever games.
But with Ferguson having bowed out in 2013, he revealed how delighted he was for his former foe to be finally stepping away.
"I am really happy for Arsene Wenger," he said.
"I have great respect for him and for the job he has done at Arsenal. It is great testament to his talent, professionalism and determination that he has been able to dedicate 22 years of his life to a job that he loves.
"In an era where football managers sometimes only last one or two seasons, it shows what an achievement it is to serve that length of time at a club the size of Arsenal.
"I am pleased that he has announced he is leaving at this stage of the season, as he can now have the send-off that he truly deserves.
"He is, without doubt, one of the greatest Premier League managers and I am proud to have been a rival, a colleague and a friend to such a great man."