Arsene Wenger, the former Arsenal boss, has admitted that he turned down two coaching offers from Real Madrid because he was interested in a project to create a new stadium to replace Highbury during his tenure at the Emirates.
Wenger explained that he was proud of his decision to turn Real Madrid down because he showed commitment and loyalty.
In other words, when I was a kid, Real Madrid was my team,” Wenger told EFE.
However, I grew up watching [Alfredo] Di Stefano, [Ferenc] Puskas, [Raymond] Kopa, Santamaria, [Paco] Gento… They made an impression on me.
Meanwhile, I liked Real Madrid, and with the passing of time, I ended up facing them.”
“I almost went to Real Madrid on two occasions. Not many people can say that” he added.
“But I was involved in a project to build a new stadium that would replace Highbury, and we had to finance it.
“We paid for it all ourselves. No one helped us. We paid for it on the pitch and by selling players high and buying them cheap.
“That’s why I didn’t go to Real Madrid. I wanted to finish that project.
“I rejected some of the best teams in Europe, and now I’m quite proud of that because I showed commitment, loyalty and that I can get to the end of a project.