'I still love Arsenal' - Wenger admits he still feels 'sadness' to not be involved at Emirates Stadium

Arsene WengerGetty Images

Arsene Wenger says he still feels a bit of sadness about his Arsenal departure as he remains in love for the club he was a major part of for so many years.

Wenger managed Arsenal from 1996-2018, earning icon status at the club while establishing himself as one of the best managers English football has ever seen.

The Frenchman has not been involved with the club since his departure, having taken on a role as FIFA's Chief of Global Football Development, and he says he still finds it difficult to not be working with his former club.

What did Wenger say?

"It's a bit of sadness," he told Sky Sports. "It's the end of passion, not the end of a love because I still love Arsenal, still love the Premier League. It's the first league I watch, and even today, that has not changed. But you're not part of it anymore as closely as you were before, so it's very difficult."

He continued: "Forty years basically in this job, never one year have I stopped, so of course, it is very tough because you miss the tension, the intensity, the great moments, even the bad moments you missed. That's why, of course, it was very tough.

"Physically, when you work 22 years in football at the same club, it's 100 years in normal life, so you miss that."

Wenger on his greatest rival Mourinho

Wenger went on to discuss his greatest rival, Jose Mourinho, who he famously clashed with many times during the Special One's Premier League tenure.

The former Arsenal boss says he always looked forward to facing Mourinho's Chelsea as those games were always among the biggest on the schedule.

“Well, basically I would say it is always a big game, a game that decides the championship and, at the time, it was more Man United and Chelsea as well," he said. "But, my rivalry was always with the clubs than with the person [manager], I never made any statements on a personal level.

“I had a lot of aggravations with Mourinho at the time because I felt that Chelsea were the first club that came in and spent money they didn’t earn."