Video: Arsene Wenger receives lifetime achievement award
February 19, 2019 | 1:44 PM
by Times News Service

Muscat: One of the greatest football managers of the modern game has been given the Laureus World Sports Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Arsene Wenger, the former Arsenal manager, received the award at the star-studded ceremony in Monaco, and used the opportunity to thank sportsmen for their contributions to the larger society.

“French football is honoured tonight, but I would like to thank Laureus first, because they do a fantastic job for sport, and I know how difficult that is,” said Wenger. “I would like to thank all the wonderful people I met during my career, and the less wonderful as well, because they make us improve.

“I would like to say that we have some famous coaches here,” he added. “In my opinion, life is about give and take. Our job is mainly ‘give’, but I must say that the moments when we take are exceptional. We of course are ready always to work on that and give as much as we can.”

Wenger is widely credited with completely changing the approach to modern football, by introducing customised diets for players, pre and post-match conditioning, the use of nutritional supplements and many other changes that were designed to improve athletic performances in a sustainable and successful manner.

He first took charge of English Premier League side Arsenal in 1996, and became their most successful manager, leading the club to a 49-game unbeaten run during the 2003-04 season, which culminated in them winning the Premier League title after losing no games that season.

After overseeing the move to the new Emirates Stadium from their Highbury ground, Arsenal went through a nine-year trophy drought, which was ended when Wenger led the club to FA Cup successes in 2014, 2015 and 2017, making Arsenal the most successful team in the FA Cup, with 13 cups to their name.

Wenger resigned as Arsenal manager at the end of the 2017-2018 season, when he was replaced by Unai Emery. In total, with Arsenal, he won three Premier League trophies, as well as seven FA Cups and a further seven Community Shields. His team also reached the final of the 2006 UEFA Champions League, before losing 2-1 to Barcelona, and the final of the UEFA Cup, when they lost to Galatasaray on penalties in 2000.

“Tonight, we have fantastic examples that sport is tremendous,” said Wenger. “I had a long career, but my passion for sport is intact. The passion for human beings is intact. We have seen so much tonight, that when human beings at its best, meet sport at its best, life becomes an art, an art that gives us great emotions.

“I would like to say that this is a great opportunity for me to have so many sportsmen here, and I would like to say to thank you in the name of sport for all the wonderful emotions you gave us through the years.”

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