Arsene Wenger harbours no regrets over passing up on the chance of becoming Real Madrid manager in favour of staying at Arsenal.
Just a year after the opening of Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium in 2008, Real Madrid made an approach for Wenger. It came following their decision sack Fabio Capello’s replacement, Bernd Schuster.
But Wenger, who was only into the first season of his new lucrative five-year contract at Arsenal, chose to remain loyal to the Gunners by turning down Real.
Then-Tottenham manager Juande Ramos later took the role before Los Blancos replaced him with current West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini six months later.
Despite passing up on the opportunity of winning more silverware, however, Wenger doesn’t regret saying no to Real. In fact, he doubts even to this day that things would have worked out at the Santiago Bernabeu.
He told beIN SPORTS: “No regret, regret is that maybe I sacrificed a little bit the winning potential against the loyalty potential, or the desire to build up the club and the influence I had on the club to build up the club when we built the stadium, against the fact that I could have won more by going somewhere else and being less limited financially.
“At the end of the day, I’m happy to do what I did, to have done what I did.”
Wenger managed 707 wins, 280 draws and 248 defeats across his 1,235 matches in charge of Arsenal.
The Frenchman’s 22-year tenure in north London saw him win three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups.
He added: “I thought from a very young age I want to work the way I like to work.
“Sometimes today I weigh up a little bit ‘have I done well or not?’.
“But I felt that I was in a club [Arsenal] where I met my needs the way I wanted to work.
“Why change that and maybe be in a bit more glorious situation but less happy situation and less influenceable situation, where I had less influence on the club [Real Madrid]?
“So I decided that I keep trying to experience my love story [at Arsenal].”
Wenger also recently claimed that Arsenal’s “Invincibles” were the greatest team he’d ever coached.