Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford.

Sir Alex pays tribute to 'absolute legend' Wenger

Wednesday 09 October 2019 09:30

Sir Alex Ferguson has this week paid tribute to his friend and old Premier League rival Arsene Wenger, to mark the former Arsenal manager being inducted into the Legends of Football Hall of Fame.

An array of stars from the world of football and entertainment attended a glittering event in London on Monday, when the ex-Gunners boss received his 2019 Legends of Football award.

Wenger, now 69, was the guest of honour in recognition of his illustrious football career and work with the Nordoff Robbins charity, which uses music to enrich the lives of people with disability. 

Remarkably, guests at the event collectively raised £521,000 for the cause. 


Sir Alex was unable to attend on the evening, but the beloved former United manager took time out of his schedule to record a special video message for his old competitor. 

“Hi Arsene,” he opened. “First of all I am sorry that I am there tonight. I would have loved to have been there, for you to be honoured by Nordoff Robins. It is a fantastic charity and I am really proud of you for taking part in it. But, most of all, for the career that you had as a manager at Arsenal. 

“It was absolutely fantastic, you are an absolute legend and that is why it is called Legends Tonight. Once again, I loved the competition against you, we had some great times and it is wonderful that you are getting this award. Good luck and my blessing is with you.”

When accepting his award, Wenger spoke to the crowd about his enduring love for English football and how he still wields an unshakable passion for the beautiful game. 

“I am very grateful for having been accepted in this country because when I arrived it was not obvious,” joked the Frenchman. “As well, I have a huge respect for this country because there is a big passion for the game. 

“When I think what Arsenal did when I arrived here, I think it was really brave and I respect that. To give a chance to Mr Nobody is not common at a big club in Europe and this country has something special. I cannot even explain why. 

“There is always something happening on a Saturday that is exceptional. Still today, when I wake up, I must say that the first thing that comes to my head is 'is there an interesting football game on the television tonight?' and, if that the case, then my day is ok.”


Former Arsenal and United striker Robin van Persie also attended the event on Monday to salute his former manager in North London. 

"This man who helped me reach wonderful heights during my career and has meant so much to me," the Dutch goalscorer said. "It was an honor celebrating Arsene Wenger’s career in London."

Reading this in our app? If not, you might miss some exclusive features not found on Download the Official App here.