Arsene Wenger set to return to management for one match

Arsene Wenger is set to make a return to management for the first time since departing Arsenal in 2018.

The Frenchman has agreed to take charge of Saudi Arabian top division sides al-Hilal and al-Nasr for a match against Paris Saint-Germain in the Riyadh Season Cup in January 2022.

The cup, which is described as a one-match tournament by Saudi Arabian outlet Al Arabiya, will see PSG take on a combined XI made up from two of the Gulf state’s biggest clubs.

Chairman of Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority, Turki al-Sheikh, confirmed in a tweet on Sunday: “The great international coach Arsene Wenger was signed to lead the stars of al-Hilal and al-Nasr against Paris Saint-Germain in the Riyadh Season Cup.”

Wenger’s managerial career at Arsenal – a timeline

Wenger spent 22 years with Arsenal, winning three Premier League titles and nine FA Cups. His side also reached the final of the 2006 Champions League, losing 2-1 to Barcelona.

He initially took over as manager in 1996, joining from Japanese side Nagoya Grampus Eight.

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In fact, today marks 25 years since he took charge of his first game as Arsenal boss. The Gunners defeated Blackburn Rovers 2-0 at Ewood Park.

Wenger would become a revolutionary in terms of the professionalism of football, improving diet regimes, training and the general approach to the game. He quickly built an Arsenal side that could compete with – and defeat – the very best.

The Gunners won their first Premier League title under Wenger in 1998. They recorded nine consecutive league victories – including a famous 1-0 victory at Manchester United to become champions.

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Wenger’s side became champions once again in 2002. After losing out to United the following campaign, the Frenchman challenged his players to go unbeaten in 2003/04 – and they did.

Arsenal became just the second side to finish an English top flight campaign unbeaten, after Preston North End achieved the feat in 1888/89.

In his later years as Gunners boss, Wenger oversaw the club’s move from Highbury to the Emirates Stadium, guided them to the Champions League final in 2006 and won a further four FA Cups.

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Wenger left Arsenal at the end of the 2017/18 season. Since then, he has taken up a role as FIFA‘s Chief of Global Football Development.

The 71-year-old has been responsible for the proposals for a biennial World Cup to be staged – an idea which has been met with mixed responses from those inside the game.

Featured Image Credit: Getty

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