Sir Alex Ferguson issues classy tribute to 'great man' Wenger

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The Manchester United legend has issued a tribute towards the Gunners boss, who is set to leave the club at the end of the season

Sir Alex Ferguson has issued a classy tribute to Arsene Wenger after the Arsenal manager announced that he will leave the club at the end of the season.

The pair were bitter rivals throughout the early years of Wenger's reign at the club, and Ferguson has expressed his happiness at the Frenchman leaving the club on his own terms.

Indeed, the two traded barbs throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s, as well as titles, with every Premier League trophy won between 1997-98 and 2003-04 either lifted by Arsenal or United.

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Ferguson is outstripped by the Frenchman in terms of FA Cup victories; Wenger has won seven, while the Scot has five.

And the 76-year-old has waxed lyrical about one of his greatest rivals in the game.

"I am really happy for Arsene Wenger," Ferguson said in a statement issued on United's official website . "I have great respect for him and for the job he has done at Arsenal.  

"It is great testament to his talent, professionalism and determination that he has been able to dedicate 22 years of his life to a job that he loves. In an era where football managers sometimes only last one or two seasons, it shows what an achievement it is to serve that length of time at a club the size of Arsenal.

"I am pleased that he has announced he is leaving at this stage of the season, as he can now have the send-off that he truly deserves. He is, without doubt, one of the greatest Premier League managers and I am proud to have been a rival, a colleague and a friend to such a great man."

United and Arsenal will clash one more time with Wenger in the dugout, with the Gunners set to visit Old Trafford at the end of April.

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