CM – Arsene Wenger explains why he turned down Real Madrid twice to stay with Arsenal


Arsene Wenger announced that he has been approached twice by Real Madrid as a coach but turned down the Spanish giants on both occasions to stay with Arsenal.

The Frenchman was in high demand with the Gunners during his 22-year trophy-rich spell – especially after leading them to three Premier League titles, including the undefeated 2003/04 season.

Arsenal’s venture to reach the 2006 Champions League final was also a feather in Wenger’s cap, despite the fact that his team couldn’t get past Barcelona.

It certainly made Madrid stand up and take notice make, but unfortunately the extremely loyal Wenger had his roots firmly rooted in Arsenal’s future.

« I almost went to Real Madrid twice, » Wenger remembered Marca. « There aren’t many who can say that, but I was involved in the project to build the new stadium that would replace Highbury and had to be funded. »

« We paid for everything ourselves, we didn’t get anything from anyone Get help. We paid for it on the pitch by selling our most expensive players and buying them cheaply. That’s why I didn’t go to Madrid. I wanted to end the project.  »

The move from Arsenal to the Emirates Stadium was completed in the summer of 2006 shortly after the Champions League heartbreak and should usher in a successful new era for the club.

Wenger expects the first leg of the UEFA Europa League semi-final match between Arsenal and Atletico Madrid to kick off on April 26, 2018 at the Emirates Stadium in London. [AFP, Adrian DENNIS

Unfortunately it became more of a burden for Wenger as his aging squad needed fresh legs when key players left, but it was difficult to find adequate substitutes.

Even so, he kept the club in the Champions League for most of his tenure – an impressive feat – but failed to qualify in the last two years of his qualification.

And it would have been particularly difficult for Wenger to reject Madrid’s advances when describing his lifelong support for Los Blancos.

« Real Madrid were my team when I was a kid, » he said. “I grew up with Di Stefano, Puskas, Kopa, Santamaria and Gento. You impressed me. I liked Real Madrid and over the years I got to play against them.  »

Wenger added: “I love to see that the stadium is in the center of the city. It’s part of people’s lives. Football is in the heart of the city. This is Real Madrid and this is the Santiago Bernabeu. « 


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