Not many managers in European football could claim that they got onto the nerves of Arsene Wenger much like Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho.
Ever since the Portuguese moved the Premier League in the early 2000’s by joining Chelsea, he has had a love-hate relationship with Arsene Wenger. From calling the Gunners manager a specialist in failure to Wenger getting involved in a heated argument with Mourinho on the touchline- the duo have seen it all.
But when Arsene Wenger announced that he would be stepping down from his managerial chair at the end of the season, Jose Mourinho maintained his dignity and gave a fitting farewell message to the Frenchman.
Mourinho said: “If he’s happy I’m happy if he’s sad, I’m sad,”
“I always wish the best for my opponents, I always wish the best, so for me, that’s the point if he’s happy with the decision he makes and looks forward to the next chapter of his career and his life I’m really happy for him. If he’s sad, I’m sad.
“I’m pretty sure we as a club, and especially because Mr Wenger and Arsenal were for many, many years the biggest rivals of Sir Alex’s era, I’m pretty sure that we as a club will show Mr Wenger the respect he deserves.”
This statement though was turning out to be boring and monotonous and every other manager would be saying the same thing about Wenger.
So the reporters tried to spice things up a bit by asking Jose and his run-ins with the Arsenal boss in the past.
And the Manchester United manager had an epic comeback
“It’s not about regretting,” he added.
“I think your question is a typical question from somebody that was not on this side, you were not a manager, you were not 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 against power, ambition against ambition and quality against quality, but in the end, it’s people from the same business who respect each others’ careers, so it happened. What matters for me is the way I respect the person, the professional, the career and 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, players, or the managers, or the referees, 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.”