Jose Mourinho insists his long-running spat with Arsene Wenger was proof of his respect for the Arsenal manager and has wished him well for his future away from the club.
The Gunners confirmed on Friday that Wenger will step down at the end of the season, bringing to an end his 22-year spell in north London.
Mourinho has had something of a feud with the Frenchman since moving to England in 2004, which culminated in his infamous description of the 68-year-old as "a specialist in failure" back in 2014.
However, the Manchester United manager says any disputes between himself and Wenger simply underlines their mutual respect – and claims anyone who disagrees is not among "the real football people".
Asked for his reaction to the Wenger news, he told a media conference: "If he's happy, I'm happy. If he's sad, I'm sad.
"I always wish the best for my opponents so for me that's the point: if he is happy with the decision, if he looks forward to the next chapter of his career and his life, I'm really happy for him; if he is sad, I'm sad.
"Mr Wenger and Arsenal were for many, many years the biggest rivals of the Sir Alex era. I'm pretty sure we will show Mr Wenger the respect he deserves."
Congratulations on an incredible 22-year career at Arsenal, Arsene Wenger, and best of luck for the rest of the season… apart from on your 60th game against us next Sunday— Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 20, 2018
When pressed on whether he regretted some of his comments about Wenger, he replied: "It's not about regretting. I think your question is a typical question from somebody who was not on this side: not a manager, not a player. You don't know the way we respect each other, even though sometimes in some moments it looks like we don't.
"Players that get yellow cards, get red cards by aggression, actions against each other, bad words during their career, for managers [it's] the same thing: in the end, they are probably the ones that respect each other more.
"It's power against power, quality against quality, ambition against ambition, but in the end it's people from the same business that respect each other's career. It's not about regretting it happened.
"What matters for me is the way I respect the person, the professional, the career. I always say that, for some, the memory is short but for us, the real football people, the ones inside the four lines playing or the managers or the referees, we are the football people.
"The football people don't have short memories. I know what it means: three Premier League titles, seven FA Cups, but not just that – what he did in Japan, France, what he did to French football, what he gave to Arsenal even in the period without Premier Leagues, the transition from stadium to stadium.
"If he is happy with the decision, I am really happy and I hope he doesn't retire from football."
|Carr denies ´fractured relationship´ with Raiders team-mates|
|De Bruyne to start for Manchester City against Shakhtar Donetsk|
|France lose Le Roux and Fofana for November Tests|
|Martino to leave Atlanta United amid Mexico links|
|Pochettino cautious over Eriksen return|
|Ancelotti an inspiration for PSG boss Tuchel|
|Persepolis 1 Al Sadd 1 (2-1 agg): Iranians into first AFC Champions League final|
|Wales boss Gatland returns to New Zealand after father´s death|
|Sri Lanka hand England their heaviest ODI defeat|
|Nuggets guard Will Barton undergoes surgery|
|Surprise package Svitolina closes in on semi-final berth|
|Alexander-Arnold targets glory at home and abroad|
|Pogba relishing emotional Juventus reunion|
|Alba hopes Lopetegui keeps Real Madrid job|
|Valverde not expecting Messi magical recovery|
|Wozniacki calms fears over knee injury|
|Maybe it´s my interviews - Klopp on Liverpool´s room for improvement|
|Language no barrier to Dortmund dangermen Reus and Alcacer|
|EPCR confirms no replay of Bath-Toulouse Champions Cup fixture|
|F1 Raceweek: Five the magic number as Hamilton eyes Mexico repeat|
|RFU to introduce in-season breaks for players|
|Nainggolan misses Barcelona trip|
|Wozniacki battles through knee complaint to down Kvitova|
|Alcacer: Two seasons at Barcelona not lost|
|Henderson, Keita to miss Liverpool´s Red Star clash|
|Khabib holds talks over Mayweather Moscow fight|
|Wolf in for Titz as Hamburg try to stop slump|
|Davies released from Wales squad as Evans comes in|
|Mbappe on track to match Messi and Ronaldo, says Giuly|
|Coleman, Kipchoge and Lyles among IAAF Male World Athlete of the Year shortlist|
|Serena Williams will win slams again sooner or later, says Seles|
|You always want the best – Ter Stegen open to Neymar return|
|Xavi: My teams will never use Mourinho´s style|
|I knew what I got myself into - LeBron appreciates Lakers are a work in progress|
|Mourinho: Ronaldo loves United but he will want to score|
|Cooper completes Rebels move and takes parting shot at Reds coach Thorn|
|Bellerin amazed by ´born champion´ Ozil|
|Penguins, kangaroos and ´Stone Cold´ Steve Austin: Halloween comes early for Trail Blazers|
|Ronaldo gunning for United, Aguero targets double record - Champions League in Opta numbers|
|Ill Vardy couldn´t stomach penalty decision – Puel|
|LeBron´s Lakers lose again, Magic stun Celtics|
|Bartomeu: No Barca return for Neymar, Valverde contracted until 2020|
|Simmons and ´stimulating´ 76ers in NBA Finals mix, says Longley|
|Falcons heap further misery on Giants|
|Vidic hails Ronaldo as ultimate professional ahead of Old Trafford return|
|Warriors´ Cousins nearing NBA return|
|Pogba can´t do the basics – Souness criticises Man United star|
|Messi absence big blow for Barca as Icardi talks up Inter|
|´You can´t cry, that´s true´ – Ronaldo responds to Isco|
|Bartomeu: Barca still competitive without Messi|
|Bills RB McCoy remains in concussion protocol|
|Raiders place Marshawn Lynch on IR|
|Emery calm over title talk after another Arsenal win|
|Green: Warriors have to clean up defensively|
|Mariners say Bolt talks ongoing amid reports contract offer was rejected|
|Proud captain Ozil revels in Arsenal´s ´sexy football´|
|Puel angry over Holding handball|
|Cilic breezes through in Basel, Anderson fights back|
|Ingram: Four-game ban better than we expected|
|Raiders send Cooper to Cowboys for first-round pick|
|Arsenal 3 Leicester City 1: Outstanding Ozil inspires comeback win|
|World Series 2018: Three reasons why the Dodgers will win|
|Yarmolenko out for six months after Achilles surgery|
|World Series 2018: Three reasons why the Red Sox will win|
|Ozil eclipses Klinsmann to become Premier League´s most prolific German|
|Allegri expecting Old Trafford battle against Mourinho´s United|
|Bertens feared she did not belong in Kerber clash|
|Returning Ronaldo expecting ´tough´ game against Manchester United|
|Cristiano Ronaldo confident of clearing his name amid rape allegation|
|Osaka looking to learn from losing start in Singapore|