Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has revealed that he has a new-found respect for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and admits time away from England made him realise that the Frenchman is actually a "very nice guy."

The two endured a frosty relationship during Mourinho's first stint in English football with Chelsea as Wenger wasn't best pleased with the Portuguese's mind-games and comments he made before and after matches.

The awkward relationship reached new heights when the Chelsea boss called Wenger 'a voyeur' for commenting on his rivals.

There was more conflicts in the Carling Cup final of 2007, when Mourinho's side beat Wenger's men 2-1, which was then followed up by an ugly brawl on the pitch which involved all players and even both the managers.

However, during his time in Italy and Spain, Mourinho admitted that meeting Wenger on several occasions during numerous football events made him realise that the Frenchman is a nice guy really.

"I started meeting him in UEFA, at the Euros (European Championships), the World Cup, we had dinner and so on," the Portuguese said in several newspapers.

"And when you are not in the same league and when you are not playing against each other, it is easier to know people, it is easier to go deeper. It is easy to speak about football, he's a very nice guy.

"I respect him a lot and I will show my respect always. (In) football sometimes even if you are friends and respect each other, you say something the other doesn't like and you react.

"But at the end of the day I respect him a lot and I have the feeling that he is the same in relation to me. I wouldn't bet on one single problem between us."


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