Arsene Wenger has ruled out making a return to Arsenal in any capacity and admitted to taking pleasure in seeing Liverpool fail to emulate the efforts of his ‘Invincibles’.
The Frenchman has been out of coaching since bringing a 22-year reign in north London to a close in the summer of 2018.
At that stage, the three-time Premier League title winner was expected to head back into management.
That has not been the case, with Wenger now filling his time with a role as FIFA’s head of global football development .
With that position taken into account, and with a clean break made at Emirates Stadium, the 70-year-old cannot see himself heading back to familiar surroundings.
Wenger told beIN SPORTS when asked if he'd return to Arsenal, even as a spectator: “Would I return to the Emirates Stadium? I always said to myself that I would be leaving Arsenal completely. That's the decision I made.”
Various directorial posts have been mooted for Wenger, but none will be filled at Arsenal.
The Gunners are, however, preparing to erect a statue of their legendary boss outside their home ground.
On that recognition of his achievements, Wenger said: “I managed the club for 1,235 games, I’ve had good and bad times there, but we always tried to defend the club’s values. And I think we managed to do it.”
The 2003-04 campaign could be considered Wenger’s greatest triumph, as Arsenal navigated an entire Premier League season unbeaten.
Nobody else has achieved that before or since, with Liverpool’s class of 2019-20 seeing their bid to match the Gunners come to a shuddering halt when suffering a shock 3-0 defeat at Watford in February .
“Yes, it was a form of satisfaction [to see Liverpool lose],” Wenger said.
“We always like to be the only ones to achieve something. They (Liverpool) could really go all the way. But it shows that it's difficult to repeat this feat. Anyway, that day, I had a lot of messages from Arsenal supporters.”
Wenger is enjoying watching competitive action from afar, with it possible that he is finished with the stresses of management.
Quizzed on whether he could return to the bench at some stage, he said: “At the moment, I am dedicating myself to my work at FIFA.
“FIFA has responsibility for 211 federations and the big problem is being efficient. I’m not saying I’m not missing competition, but I’m trying to be efficient in this area.”