Sir Alex Ferguson has praised the achievements of his long-time rival Arsene Wenger, who reaches a major milestone on Saturday when his Arsenal team run out for their 1,000th game under his control, Skysports reports.
The 64-year-old first took charge of the north London club on October 1, 1996 and the game against Chelsea at Stamford Bridgeon Saturday brings up four figures for the Frenchman. Ferguson, who remained at Manchester United for over a quarter of a century, says Wenger’s 17 years and counting has given the club “great stability”.
Wenger has managed the Gunners to three Premier League titles and four FA Cups, the last of these being a penalty shoot-out victory over Manchester United in the 2005 final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
Ferguson, who at times clashed with Wenger over the years, said in a statement, “I congratulate Arsene in reaching this momentous landmark.
“Having also reached the same milestone at one club, I cannot emphasise enough the level of dedication, resilience as well as sacrifice required and for that I have for the utmost admiration.
“Over the years we enjoyed some fantastic battles and you could say we had survived together and respected each other’s efforts to play good football.
“I always enjoy watching Arsene’s sides – Arsenal play the right way.
“Playing against them always presented special challenges that I burned many hours over the years thinking about.
“He has always been a conscientious member of our trade who makes it his business to help other managers. “Perhaps the biggest compliment I could give Arsene is that I could never be anything other than competitive with my rival for 17 years.”