Jose Mourinho appears to have finally made peace with Arsene Wenger after the former Manchester United boss labelled the Frenchman as “one of the best managers in the history of football”.
The pair formed one of the most infamous Premier League managerial rivalries after Mourinho derided Wenger as a specialist in failure, culminating in Wenger shoving the then Chelsea boss on the touchline in 2014.
But speaking at the Laureus World Sports Awards, Mourinho said the pair had always shared “real respect”.
“There were some episodes along the road,” Mourinho said. “I can only speak by myself. I really enjoyed the competition. But the real respect was always there.
“He made lots of history in that football club. The nickname is there – the Invincibles. Amazing. A coaching philosophy, the almost perfect team. He is one of the best football managers in the history of football.”
Mourinho, who left Manchester United in December, was recently spotted watching Lille alongside the club’s sporting director, Luis Campos.
The pair are old friends, with Campos having worked under Mourinho as chief scout during his days at Real Madrid, and the Portuguese has claimed he would like his next role to be in France.
“I can imagine [coaching] in France one day,” Mourinho said. “I’m a man who’s worked in four different countries, who likes that, who likes to know other cultures.”
“I like to learn all the time, to work in a different league would be a fantastic experience. [At the moment] I’m calm, I’m trying to enjoy life with family and friends and calmly working to hopefully find another opportunity in football.”