Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has paid a heartfelt tribute to his old adversary at Arsenal, Arsene Wenger.
Wenger announced on Friday morning that he is stepping down at the end of the season, after 22 years in the job.
“I am really happy for Arsene Wenger,”Sir Alex told ManUtd.com.
“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 the greatest Premier League managers and I am proud to have been a rival, a colleague and a friend to such a great man.
United's next outing at Old Trafford is against Wenger's Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday 29 April - the 60th time the Frenchman will have faced the Reds, winning 18 games, drawing 15 and losing 26.
TRIBUTES TO WENGER ON TWITTER
Congratulations on an incredible 22-year career at Arsenal, Arsene Wenger, and best of luck for the rest of the season… apart from on your 60th game against us next Sunday 😉— Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 20, 2018
Arsene Wenger built the best teams that I played against in English Football .The 98 team was Amazing.The biggest compliment is that he played football that made us change the way we played against them. He now deserves the most incredible send off from all in the coming weeks.— Gary Neville (@GNev2) April 20, 2018
Thanks Arsene for all your confidence in me over the years. You are a very special man & a top coach! Definitely one of the very best ever! 1/2 pic.twitter.com/6Ry174GCIS— Robin van Persie (@Persie_Official) April 20, 2018
I will always see you as my footballing father where under your guidance I had the chance to grow as a man and a player, i'm forever thankful for that and wish you all the very best for the next chapter in your life! #ThanksArsene #TheBoss 2/2 pic.twitter.com/ekhFNfExvN— Robin van Persie (@Persie_Official) April 20, 2018
I only interviewed Arsene Wenger once and he was an absolute gentleman.— Adam Marshall (@AdamSMarshall) April 20, 2018
I’m sure I’m not the only #MUFC fan to wish him the very best in his retirement. He’s certainly earned it.
What great times they were (except when you beat us, obvs). Chapeau, Arsene. pic.twitter.com/vs3qVXNscl— Joe Ganley (@josephganley) April 20, 2018