Arsene Wenger has been speaking about his rivalry with Sir Alex Ferguson while the pair were managers of Arsenal and Manchester United respectively.
The two battled it out following Wenger’s arrival in England as Arsenal boss in 1996 until Ferguson retired after winning the 2012-13 Premier League title at United.
Between the pair of them they won 13 Premier League titles with Ferguson accounting for 10 of those.
Ferguson and Wenger faced each other on 49 occasions during that time with matches between United and Arsenal becoming one of the most high-profile games in world football — the games often deciding the outcome of the league.
Wenger won his last Premier League title in 2004 but held on at Arsenal until 2018 before calling it a day.
Ferguson branded the relationship between the pair of them ‘toxic’ for a period of time but as the two progressed in their careers — and Arsenal ceased being a force at the top of the Premier League table — it improved.
“It became toxic for a while,” Ferguson said.
“The big change that made Arsenal was reinventing [Thierry] Henry. And the goals… he was fantastic.
“You’re always looking in the rear-view mirror to see who’s coming up behind you, and when you see someone, you accelerate.
“Arsenal were catching us up, and their team was good enough to go above us, there’s no question about that.”
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And Wenger has now addressed the rivalry between the two and insisted that he was not frightened by Ferguson.
“Everyone was scared of him, from the press to the referees,” Wenger said.
“I thought that’s a good opportunity for me to show that it’s not only in England that you know how to play football. I was ready for the fight.
“It was sometimes very aggressive, especially after the games.
“When you’re fighting to win, you are two lions. Your only one desire is to eat the lion who is against you
“I was not scared of anybody in football.”
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