Jose Mourinho insists Arsene Wenger deserves respect for his achievements at Arsenal
By Michael Kelleher
Last Updated: 20/04/18 4:56pm
Jose Mourinho believes Arsene Wenger deserves huge respect for his achievements at Arsenal and hopes he does not retire from football.
The Gunners announced on Friday morning that the 68-year-old Frenchman will step down at the end of the season after 22 years in charge.
Mourinho and Wenger have been fierce rivals since the Portuguese arrived in the Premier League as manager of Chelsea in 2004 but the Manchester United boss insists there are no hard feelings between the pair.
"If he is happy, I am happy. If he is sad, I am sad. I always wish the best for my opponents. I always wish the best," Mourinho said.
"For me that is the point. If he is happy with the decision he made and looks forward to the next chapter of his career and his life, I am really happy for him. If he is sad, I am sad.
"I am pretty sure that we as a club - especially because Mr Wenger and Arsenal were for many, many years the biggest rivals of the Sir Alex era - will show Mr Wenger the respect that he deserves."
Mourinho has been involved in numerous spats with Wenger on the touchline over the years and aimed many barbs at him in press conferences, calling the Arsenal boss a "voyeur" and a "specialist in failure".
But he insists he has a lot of respect for Wenger's achievements and hopes this is not the end of his career in football.
When asked if he has any regrets about some of his behaviour towards Wenger, Mourinho replied: "It is not about regretting. Your question is a typical question from somebody who is not on this side. You are not a manager, you are not a player of course.
"You do not know the way we respect each other even when sometimes it looks like in some moments we don't.
"Players that get red cards by aggressive actions against each other or bad words during their career and managers the same thing - in the end probably the ones that respect each other more are the ones that have the problems.
"It is power against power. It is quality against quality. It is ambition against ambition.
"But in the end, it is people from the same business and people that respect each other and respect each other's careers.
"It is not about regretting. It happened. What matters for me is the way I respect the person, the professional and the career.
"I always say for some the memory is short but especially for us the real football people - the ones inside the four lines playing and the managers - we don't have short memories.
"I know what it means [to win] three Premier League titles, seven FA Cups and not just that. What he did in Japan and France, what he gave to Arsenal, even in a period without Premier Leagues, all the transition of the club from stadium to stadium - we know what he did.
"So again if he is happy with the decision, I am really happy and I hope he does not retire from football."
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