Former Arsenal gaffer, Arsene Wenger has received the Laureus World Sports Award for Lifetime Acheivement and Mourinho has a thing or two to say about the recipient, an arch rival.
The French gaffer is lauded for revolutionizing modern football in the first part of his over two decades reign as manager of the North London Club by introducing the use of nutritional supplements, conditioning of food given to the players as well as pre and post-match conditioning.
Wenger on receiving the award thanked fans and sportsmen for their contribution to the larger society.
“French football is honoured tonight, but I would like to thank Laureus first, because they do a fantastic job for sport, and I know how difficult that is,” said Wenger. “I would like to thank all the wonderful people I met during my career, and the less wonderful as well, because they make us improve.
“I would like to say that we have some famous coaches here,” he added. “In my opinion, life is about give and take. Our job is mainly ‘give’, but I must say that the moments when we take are exceptional. We of course are ready always to work on that and give as much as we can.”
More surprisingly is the fact that his arch rival, Jose Mourinho saluted and acknowledged the impact of Arsene Wenger – who he had once labelled a ‘Specialist in Failure’ – on modern football as it were.
In his words:
“I can only speak by myself. I really enjoyed the competition but the real respect is always there. He made lots of history in that football club.”
He described him as one of the finest managers in the world and praised him for his works with the ‘Invincibles’ who went through a season unbeaten. He also described the invincibles as an almost perfect coaching philosophy.
Recall that Wenger led Arsenal to the final of the Champions League in 2006