When Arsene Wenger first started his coaching career, he didn't get much attention. The 64-year-old expert had a humble football career, playing only in French clubs before becoming a manager.
Today, many fans consider him one of the best managers in the world because of his management style and so many years spent at the Emirates. But, his adventures before joining Arsenal remain unknown even today for some football lovers.
Below are five facts about the Gunners boss that football fans might not know...
1. Wenger played mostly for amateur clubs
When he started his career back in 1969, not everything was about the money. Firstly, he joined a third division side Mutzig, the club most famous for playing "best amateur football" in Alsace. Although he was an important member of the squad, Wenger had to wait a bit longer before turning professional.
He mostly played as a sweeper-defender in all of his clubs. Back in Mutzig, he developed a special relationship with Max Hild, the club's manager. Since then, Hild persisted on bringing him to every club he has managed later on.
Only in his last three years as a footballer, the French expert started playing with professionals in RC Strasbourg who won the Ligue 1 title in 1978. He retired very soon after winning the league, at the age of 32.
2. First job as manager
Just three years after ending his professional career, Wenger was ready for new challenges, only this time as a manager. He joined Ligue 2 side Cannes as an assistant manager in 1983. There, he was helping first-team boss Jean-Marc Guillou, who later became the manager of Cote d'Ivoire.
Because of Aldo Platini, Michel's father, Wenger became the coach of Nancy - Lorraine thanks to his recommendations. Later on, it wasn't so good for the Frenchman as the club got relegated in the first season under him.
3. Coaching in Japan
In January 1995, he had signed a contract with a Japanese club Nagoya Grampus Eight. Boro Primorac, the ex-Valenciennes manager became his assistant for the second time, as they were already co-operating in AS Monaco.
The duo that is working together even today has led the team to winning the Emperor's Cup in 1995, a national cup competition in the Land of the Rising Sun. Wenger also recieved the J.League Manager of the Year award and it was just a few months before joining Arsenal.
4. Lingual skills
One of the most important things for the Arsenal manager is the knowledge of languages. While some managers barely speak two, Wenger knows six different languages - French, German, English, Spanish, Italian and some Japanese.
5. Transfer facts
The Arsenal boss is famous for signing great youngsters from their academy. But, how do they get there? The club has got football camps all over the world and scouts who spend lots of time searching for new talents.
Francesc Fabregas, Jon Toral, Hector Bellerin...La Masia was their home before Wenger decided to bring them to London with him. Was it Wenger's authority in the Premier League or great transfer skills?
Also, he loves signing players from his home league, Ligue 1. Some of the players who were brought from France are Olivier Giroud, Mathieu Flamini and Yaya Sanogo. He got these last two for free. Many managers should look up to him.
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