The tributes quickly poured in after Arsene Wenger announced that he will step down as Arsenal manager at the end of the season.
The Frenchman will go down as an Arsenal legend after leading the club to three Premier League titles and seven FA Cup triumphs during his 22-year reign in charge.
It means that next season will be the first in Premier League history without either Wenger or Sir Alex Ferguson, who had some touching words to say about his former rival.
“I am pleased he has announced he is leaving at this stage of the season as he can now have the send-off that he truly deserves,” Ferguson, who had some great battles with Wenger during his time as the manager of Manchester United, said on Friday.
“He is, without doubt, one of the greatest Premier League managers and I am proud to have been a rival, a colleague and a friend to such a great man.
“It is great testament to his talent, professionalism and determination that has been able to dedicate 22 years of his life to a job that he loves.”
Several of Wenger’s players, past and present, took to social media to say thanks to a man who revolutionised the game in England.
THE OX’S TWEET
“I’m you’re last signing but since I’m here I’m proud to be your player Boss, thanks for everything #merciarsene #legend,” Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang tweeted.
Also among those to send a message was Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who left Arsenal for Liverpool last summer.
“Forever grateful for the faith shown, the opportunity given, the knowledge shared and unconditional support offered,” the Ox tweeted.
“Thanks for everything boss.”
Forever grateful for the faith shown, the opportunity given, the knowledge shared and unconditional support offered.
Thanks for everything boss. pic.twitter.com/Y4qUjNusVl
— Alex Ox-Chamberlain (@Alex_OxChambo) April 20, 2018
Arsenal supporters may not admire Oxlade-Chamberlain as much as they once did but he deserves respect for a classy tribute to Wenger.
Robin van Persie, who, like Oxlade-Chamberlain, left Arsenal after becoming disillusioned at the Emirates Stadium, also offered his thanks to the 68-year-old.
“I will always see you as my footballing father where under your guidance I had the chance to grow as a man and a player,” Van Persie wrote on Twitter.
“I’m forever thankful for that and wish you all the very best for the next chapter in your life!”
It’s clear from these messages that Wenger had a big impact on everyone he coached.