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."
|Barcelona seal €86m De Jong deal|
|Vietnam v Japan: Moriyasu happy to keep doing just enough|
|Hendricks, De Kock and Steyn join up with Proteas squad|
|Lorenzo excited for ´new level´ at Repsol Honda|
|Fernando replaces injured Pradeep in Sri Lanka squad|
|China v Iran: Queiroz wants to exorcise 2015 quarter-final|
|Balotelli joins Marseille until the end of the season|
|Emery gives Monchi ringing endorsement amid Arsenal sporting director links|
|Larry Fitzgerald returning to Cardinals on one-year deal|
|Watson absence ´an opportunity´ for Scotland hopefuls, says Townsend|
|Pochettino open to new signings but Janssen to remain a Spurs outcast|
|´No trace´ of aircraft so far in Sala search|
|Pochettino will not judge Sarri for criticising Chelsea players|
|From front row to four in a row - Best takes on Farrell at Connect 4|
|Hazard an individual, not a leader - Sarri urges Chelsea star to do more|
|Broad left out of England team for first Test|
|Higuain set to sign for Chelsea but won´t face Tottenham – Sarri|
|McGillvary injury blow for Giants|
|Solari praises Marcelo amid exit rumours|
|A-League Review: Joy and pain for De Jong as Sydney close gap|
|Halfpenny, Davies and Williams set to miss France clash|
|India to rest Kohli from back end of New Zealand tour|
|The hand is good - Farrell expects to be fit to face Ireland|
|Martinez leaves Arsenal for Reading loan|
|Beckham becomes Salford City shareholder|
|Maradona hopes Sala will be found alive|
|Djokovic will not discuss potential Nadal showdown yet|
|A Federer-Nadal double? Even historic scalps may not be enough for Tsitsipas|
|Raonic to assess knee injury, hopes to avoid surgery|
|Barcelona right to fine ´complicated´ Dembele, says Ter Stegen|
|Higuain and Piatek on the move on busy day for Milan|
|Philippe and Vince humble the Hurricanes|
|Nishikori: I couldn´t beat anybody on one leg|
|Boateng poised for debut as Barcelona axe Suarez|
|Shami sets record in crushing win after sun stops play|
|Sala search focused on possible use of life raft|
|Pouille exceeds own expectations with run to Aus Open semis|
|Nishikori retirement sees Djokovic through to semi-finals|
|A golden boy, a guy you want to love - Delecroix pays emotional tribute to Sala|
|Richardson, Patterson to make Australia debuts against Sri Lanka|
|Police resume search for missing Sala plane|
|Pouille upsets Raonic to reach Australian Open semis|
|Dunk sees Stars past Strikers|
|How Serena gave up 5-1 lead – the key moments of loss to Pliskova|
|Pliskova enjoys ´best comeback´ after stunning Serena|
|Serena not blaming ankle injury for Australian Open loss|
|Mavericks capitalise on Clippers´ turnovers, pick up win in Smith´s return|
|Pliskova saves four match points to stun Serena with comeback win|
|Anthony ´can only make´ a team better, says Iverson|
|Henry more worried about Monaco´s future than his own|
|Osaka powers past Svitolina in Melbourne|
|Harden on Anthony trade: It kind of sucks that it didn´t work out|
|Redskins remain ´optimistic´ QB Alex Smith will play again|
|Patriots coach Belichick says Rams´ Donald is ´pretty much unblockable´|
|PSG fined €100,000 by LFP over player-recruitment practices|
|I´m not his father - Guardiola demands Mendy matures|
|Sykes record in vain as Banvit claim victory|
|Usain Bolt calls time on football career|
|Otamendi not happy at Man City, says Guardiola|
|Workaholic Woods learning to rest as he prepares for 2019 debut|
|Henry´s Monaco dumped out of Coupe de France|
|Qatar can win Asian Cup, says Sanchez|
|Tim Howard to retire following 2019 MLS season|
|Koscielny backs Bellerin to return from injury ´stronger than before´|
|Chiefs fire DC Bob Sutton after AFC Championship loss to Patriots|
|Reyes returns to Spain with second-tier strugglers Extremadura|
|Emiliano Sala: Profile of Cardiff City striker missing after joining from Nantes|
|Messi rested for Sevilla trip, Boateng set for debut|
|Nuno fined over pitch celebration in Leicester win|
|Nadal unfazed by another Next Gen opponent in Tsitsipas|