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."
16. November 2018
|Oxlade-Chamberlain targeting early return|
|New Zealand-born Aki will ´relish´ facing All Blacks – Marmion|
|Portugal cannot focus on absent Ronaldo - Santos|
|Ramsey reiterates he wants to stay with Jaguars despite cryptic tweet|
|We tried to hit a home run and it didn´t work out - D´Antoni explains Carmelo exit|
|West Ham´s Zabaleta backs Premier League´s VAR introduction|
|Southgate eyes winning end to England´s ´brilliant year´|
|Patient Zverev seizes opportunity to make amends at ATP Finals|
|Rodgers: Packers still believe they can make playoffs|
|Mahomes hoping to ketchup to Heinz´s touchdown target|
|Ranieri tells Fulham fans not to expect repeat of Leicester ´fairytale´|
|Brown to leave role as RFU chief executive|
|Croatia star Rakitic ruled out of England clash|
|Capital gains for Zverev as he secures last-four spot in London|
|Sancho rise continues with Player of the Month award|
|Jones-Buchanan, Ablett and Briscoe sign new Rhinos deals|
|Root leads from the front as aggressive England assume control|
|Croatia´s Lovren antagonises Ramos and ´rude´ Spain|
|Rakitic has ´enormous respect´ for England ahead of Nations League decider|
|Ireland make flanker switch with Leavy out of All Blacks clash|
|Pakistan rip through Black Caps in Abu Dhabi|
|WATCH: Barcelona mark 15-year anniversary of Messi´s first match|
|Sterling, that you? - Walker uses falling fan to poke fun at England team-mate|
|Fleetwood applies pressure on Molinari, Wallace leads in Dubai|
|Don´t talk to me about VAR – Rakitic not over World Cup final loss|
|Van Dijk leadership essential for Liverpool – Wijnaldum|
|Dalic: Croatia´s bench was ready to stop Spain!|
|Sublime Root century gives England imposing lead|
|Vinicius appreciates Solari influence at Real Madrid|
|Havertz would suit Bayern Munich – Kimmich|
|Wilder: Roach recruitment a sign of Fury nerves|
|Ranieri targets defensive improvements at failing Fulham|
|PSG close investigation into player recruitment practices after finding no discrimination|
|Mayweather: Nasukawa exhibition back on|
|Witsel: Joining Borussia Dortmund my best career decision|
|Ballon d´Or win would not change Modric´s ´best year´|
|Ireland v New Zealand: Opta stats behind the meeting of the world´s top two|
|The Breakdown: A statistical look at Saturday´s rugby internationals|
|Batshuayi dismisses reports of Valencia departure|
|Brazil must make Copa America final – Tite|
|Rockets rout Warriors as Green goes scoreless|
|Seahawks rally past Packers|
|Lakers G Rondo to miss 4-5 weeks|
|Durant is done with questions about Green|
|Smith, Warner set to return to IPL in 2019|
|No rivalry between Mbappe and Griezmann – Deschamps|
|Neymar: Emery will bring success to Arsenal|
|Jedvaj backs Croatia to deliver against England|
|Howell grabs first-round lead at Sea Island|
|Rooney backing Kane to break England record|
|Betts named American League MVP|
|Republic of Ireland must improve, says under-pressure O´Neill|
|Injured Sergio Ramos to leave Spain squad|
|Yelich named National League MVP|
|Low praises ´beautiful goals´ from Sane and Gnabry|
|Belgium boss Martinez pleased with patient Batshuayi|
|Wilson and Sancho pay tribute to England ´legend´ Rooney|
|Rooney gave England squad a lesson in humility - Southgate|
|This Week in U.S. Sports: LeBron passes Chamberlain, Williamson looking like he is next|
|We still have a chance - Luis Enrique not giving up hope after Spain defeat|
15. November 2018
|Rockets ´parting ways´ with Anthony|
|Rooney became ´embarrassed´ at Manchester United|
|Federer: ´Easier´ to play when I´m up against it|
|Rooney convinced England are in safe hands with Southgate|
|Black Caps skipper Williamson confident over first Test availability|
|Federer cruises into last four of ATP Finals for 15th time|
|Republic of Ireland 0 Northern Ireland 0: Randolph saves light up bore draw|
|England 3 United States 0: Experimental side impresses on Rooney farewell|
|Croatia 3 Spain 2: Jedvaj keeps World Cup finalists in contention|
|Belgium 2 Iceland 0: Batshuayi rekindles Hazard flame with match-winning brace|