Arsene Wenger is manager of Premier League-side Arsenal and the longest serving manager in the history of the London-based club. He also won more trophies than any other Arsenal manager.
Wenger, also known as Le Professeur, was born on 22 October 1949 in Strasbourg, France. He was raised, together with his brother and sister, in the village of Duttlenheim, which is located south-west of Strasbourg. Although the Arsenal-manager is from France, he did not speak any French until he was aged seven, instead he was speaking the dialect of the Alsace region.
Arsene Wenger – Playing Career
The young Wenger started playing football at the age of six and his father also took him to various games in nearby Germany. He started playing at FC Duttlenheim, but his soccer career took a step forward when he started playing for Mutzig in the French third division. In 1973 he joined Mulhouse, switched to amateur club ASPV Strasbourg in 1975 before becoming professional soccer player in 1978 for RC Strasbourg.
However, Wenger’s playing career was quite modest: between 1978 and 1981 he only played 11 games for Strasbourg, in which he did not score a goal. Outside the soccer field, Arsene Wenger also developed: he graduated in 1974 with a degree in economics at the University of Strasbourg and received in 1981 a French soccer federation’s managerial diploma. That year, he was also appointed youth coach at RC Strasbourg.
Arsene Wenger – Manager Career
In 1983, the French manager joined AS Cannes, which played in the Ligue 2, the second level of professional soccer in France. After just a year, Wenger joined Nancy, but he was not very successful at that club in the highest division of France. Nancy finished during Wenger’s first season at the club 12th in the French league, but was relegated to Ligue 2 two seasons later.
However, AS Monaco was impressed with the vision and methods of the French coach and Wenger was appointed in 1987 as manager of team from Monaco and you could say that his career really took off at that club.
During his first year, Arsene Wenger won the league with AS Monaco and finished 3rd the two seasons after the championship-year. During the years after that the club won the Frenchcup and had a good record in European tournaments. In 1994, German giants Bayern Munich wanted to appoint Wenger as their new manager, but Monaco did not want to let their manager go. However, later during that year, the clubfired him because of poor results in the 94/95 season.
After his dismissal, Arsene Wenger made a remarkable move: he moved to Japan to become the new manager of Nagoya Grampus Eight. He spent 18 months at the club in Asia and during that time, Nagoya Grampus Eight won the Japanese Cup and finished as second-placed team in the J-League. Wenger also won the Manager of the Year Award.
In September 1996, Wenger went back to Europe to become the new manager of London-based Premier League-side Arsenal. During his first season in charge, Arsenal finished third, while the season after, the Londoners won the Premier League, as well as the prestigious FA Cup.
The seasons after that, the club booked good results and progressed to various finals including the UEFA Cup Final and FA Cup Final, but these results were not good enough to claim the title or the cup. That changed during the 2001/2002 season when Arsenal won the double (title and FA Cup) again.
The performance of Arsenal during the 2003/2004 season was unique as the team won the championship of the Premier League without losing a match during that season. In 2006, Arsenal played the UEFA Champions League final, but the team from London lost to Spanish giants FC Barcelona.
The French manager won his last big prize during the 2004/2005 season. Since then, Arsenal was not able to claim any domestic or European titles or awards.
Arsene Wenger – Personal Life
Arsene Wenger lives near London and is married to Annie Brosterhous. The couple have one daughter, Lea, who was born in 1997.
Most of his time Arsene Wenger spends on watching football matches, but he holds an interest in politics as well.
(Sources: Wikipedia, paddypower)