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Jose Mourinho's reaction to Arsene Wenger stepping down at Arsenal is class

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It's the announcement no one saw coming, yet everyone expected. Arsene Wenger will step down as Arsenal manager this summer after 22 years at the club.

In an emotional statement on Friday morning the Frenchman explained that he's given everything as Arsenal manager and now feels it's time to step down.

And it has to be said that the time is right. What Wenger has achieved in north London is amazing, but the Gunners have regressed under his stewardship over the past decade.

Change is needed to breathe new life into Arsenal Football Club, though a replacement has yet to be announced.

Tributes have been pouring in for Wenger since his sudden announcement, with current Arsenal players, ex-Arsenal players, fellow managers, fans and the media all paying homage.

Jose Mourinho, who will go down as one of Wenger's greatest rivals, has now reacted to the news and what he said in his press conference was genuinely beautiful.

The Manchester United manager began: "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.

MOURINHO: IF HE'S HAPPY, I'M HAPPY

"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.

"Mr Wenger and Arsenal were for many many years the biggest rivals of Sir Alex [Ferguson]'s era. I'm pretty sure that we as a club will show Mr Wenger the respect he deserves.

Arsenal v Manchester United - Premier League

"I hope he doesn't retire from football."

And when asked whether he regrets all his arguments with Wenger down the years, Mourinho insisted there has and always will be a mutual respect between them.

"It's not about regretting," he added. "I think your question is a typical question from somebody that was not in this side.

"You were not a manager, a player. 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 aggressive actions against each other, the manager is the same thing but the ones that respect more each other are the ones with the problems.

Chelsea v Arsenal - Premier League

"It's power and ambition and quality against each other, but in the end it's people from the same business and 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 memory is short.

"But for us football people, the real football people, who are the ones inside the four lines, playing, or the managers, or the refs, 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.

"What he gave to Arsenal in the period without Premier League titles, the transition from stadium to stadium, we know what he did. If he's happy with the decision, I'm really happy."

Topics:
Premier League
Arsene Wenger
Manchester United
Jose Mourinho
Arsenal
Alex Ferguson
Football

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