Calderon confirms Real Madrid wanted ‘respectful’ Wenger

Ex-Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon has claimed that the current Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was close to joining the Spanish giants. He also went on to add that though the move was agonizingly close to being completed and despite being “very interested”, Wenger turned down Los Blancos.

Real apparently made a move to sign Wenger between 2001 and 2003 but were unsuccessful. The 65-year-old manager has been the longest serving manager in the Premier League currently. In fact, after the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, there is no manager at the same experience level as Wenger.

Wenger has always been praised for the way he built the club and kept his side competitive for many years. Over his 19 years at Arsenal, he has promoted youth at the club. He kept his mandate on improving the club than focus only on trophies.

He was linked with Madrid on many occasions throughout his tenure and for some time there was concern at the Emirates that he may choose to leave the club. This was confirmed by the ex-Real President Ramon Calderon who was quoted as saying: “I imagine that anyone – be it a coach or a player – at some time in their career is interested in coming to a club like Real Madrid, especially when you have been at a club for fifteen years, or however long, in England,” the Mirror quotes Calderon as saying.

“He was talking to me about Real Madrid and, at that time, he was very interested in the club and what was happening. I remember he said: ‘Are you going to Hollywood again, or to make a football team?’ He meant are you going for film star Galacticos or to make a proper football team”

“Things didn’t work out and he has clearly loved his time at Arsenal… Wenger … is respectful. You never see him in arguments. There might be occasions where he complains about referees but not in the way that Mourinho does.

This actually is what separates him from the rest. The respect that Wenger earns on and off the pitch is unrivalled. He is held in high esteem at the club because of the way he conducts his business. Also, when the club went through a period of tight finances, Wenger kept his composure.

The venerable manager is sometimes criticized for not showing enough ambition in winning trophies. It is often said that for Wenger finishing in Champions League qualification is a trophy.

For those who questioned his lack of trophies, Wenger answered with consecutive FA cups in the last two years. But, the club and the fans expect more. This could be the year where he gets the club back on the annals of Premier League. If he does that, every Gunners supporter will be happy that he chose to stay at the club – despite Madrid calling.


Tags Calderon Madrid Wenger


  1. Whatever people say now, we will surely miss Le Prof. when he’s gone
    An excellent human being and a good manager (with a few flaws)

    1. oh! And Calderon is even an Ex-president…………No doubt, Wenger may have been sacked years ago at Real.M …… But… Well! Here at Arsenal, people like Kroenke, gazidis , Wenger don’t easily become EX’s

  2. He is the most successful manager in our club’s history, be it in term of trophies or be it in terms of club development. I would not comment on if he should continue or not for the future as our manager but for all what he has given to our club, he deserves a certain amount of respect.

    1. Honestly, Arsene does deserve respect. He does. But he is swiftly losing everything, pride, pomposity and arrogance have set in.

        1. I agrEe with you, Budd. I agree. It is very right to support Wenger in all he does. I personally think Wenger has done no wrong at all at Arsenal.

          1. I don’t agree with Wenger in all he does. But that’s not to mean that I know more than he does. And I don’t call for his retirement. He knows very well when to retire. Board can sack him or not. It is not the fans to say who’s going to be the manager. Is that simple. Whatever AFC decide, I am accepting it. I may not be happy with what they decide but this is what it is.

            1. Excuse me, Budd; what do you mean you do not agree with Wenger in all he does??? FFS, it’s Wenger we are talking about here!!! Of course, I agree the fans have no say at all, because the go watch matches for free and they pay for absolutely nothing.

              Indeed, BUDD, it is what it is.

              1. Its very simple

                if he had bought DM and ST three years ago
                if he had bought DM and ST two yeras ago
                if he had bought DM and ST thei summer

                he would of been all time great

              2. I give you few examples of what I have said here before (I can only remember the most recent ones, you must excuse me) : I wanted Schweinsteiger or Scheiderlin signed. I wanted Giroud to start 2nd hald at Newcastle. I wanted Bellerin instead of Debuchy against WHU and also settle for the draw if victory was not in sight. I have said that Wenger did a mistake rushing Wilshere two years ago after injury. There are many, many things I don’t agree with what he does but this is all I can do really.

  3. he is already a legend. when he is gone not only us but the premeire league will miss him.except stock after tomorrow(hopefully).

  4. You think le prof is that stupid to leave the most secure job on this planet earth to go and face a sack at real madrid???u think wenger cld survive where mou and ancelloti cldn’t???being a manager at arsenal is a dream job for any manager!!!

      1. I agree, Mou and Ancelotti are no where near Wenger, becuz Wenger is very far behind!!!

    1. Yeah, securing top-4 and champions league football while turning a profit in the transfer market to pay off a stadium debt while competing in the most competitive league in the world, as Chelsea and City spend billions at the hands of sugar daddies and United was at the peak of their powers? Piece of cake…

      1. We have to remember
        that Wenger has failed
        to win the EPL in 11 years
        the longest run of any
        Manager in Arsenal history.
        ECL “qualification” is much easier than it was.
        Before Wenger came it was only the Champion who qualified.
        FIFA extended the qualification to accommodate rich clubs
        who had to pay massive wages to players.
        They basically extended the qualification
        to the UEFA teams the equivalent of today
        extending ECL qualification to the EUROPA qualifiers.
        Wenger avoided Madrid because he new he could not achieve
        the standards Real demand.
        He preferred to stay at a smaller club like Arsenal
        where he can play dictator, play favourites,
        keep injury wrecks and pensioners and still get paid 7 mill a year because there is no pressure to win anything.

  5. Wenger was wanted by madrid, barca, bayern, PSG and others throughout his tenure at arsenal. It pains me to see and hear the lack of respect so many people especially this younger generation show him.

    Sure he has his flaws but who doesn’t, he’s a visionary and a genius who was willing to risk his reputation in order to make arsenal a powerhouse for the next 50 years. We will miss him when he’s gone.

    There’s only one arsene wenger

      1. Actually Wenger is wanted by every club. Some just don’t try because its fairly obvious that he won’t leave Arsenal let alone for a smaller club.
        OT: Who else doesn’t make substitutions until the 70th minute when playing FIFA?

  6. Wenger would make a good manager for the french national team: for
    1). He is very patriotic and
    2). He doesn’t have to worry about transfers and wages.

    1. Wenger is a master with transfers, he just proved it by buying Alexis for 32 million, Ozil for 42 million and Cech for 8 million, when Martial cost 58, Sterling cost 49 and De Bruyne cost 56.

      I agree he should have bought a striker and DM this window but i really think he wants to give Walcott a fair chance at ST and Arteta another year at DM. Don’t be surprised if you see Carvalho join Arsenal in January after he is fully recovered from his injury.

      1. Yup and look at city paying £32m for Mangala last year who’s been a giant flop and now they spent £31m on Otamendi who I think is overrated

      2. 90% of our current squad looks like steals when you compare the transfer fees to other sides. There’s been years of development in this current generation, the one Wenger has finally kept together, IMO due largely to a better wage structure and increased ambition (Ozil, Sanchez, Cech)
        If Coquelin, Ramsey, Theo and Giroud can lift their consistency and find the form they’re capable of and add to the brilliance of Cazorla, Ozil and Sanchez. I think we have what it takes.

        1. Absolutely I see no reason why this current squad can’t challenge and win the prem. people underestimate the unity and cohesion flowing through our team which can be as important as a new signing. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves one game at a time, we NEED to beat stoke!

    2. You know we have plenty of players at the club currently that he’s dealt with their transfers and wages? It’s not like we had loads of players leaving we had to replace the window gone, it’s a pretty young squad likely to improve.

  7. Consecutive F.A. cups has definitely been progress these past few seasons. It’s the most solid our defence has looked in years as well, finally having decent options and depth with a world-class goalie added behind it.
    Need to find stability in attack though and start scoring soon. Our front three haven’t looked confident, Alexis included, need someone to step up quickly, especially with the quality our midfield is producing.
    Forward progress for this season is vital for Wenger, especially in regards to consistency. A sustained title challenge is the measuring factor.

    1. that is the key word right there. consistency. wenger must keep the players in their preffered positions and select the best 11. i still can’t understand why wenger changed a line up that was working excellent (i think 2 losses in the last 26 games) by changing ramsey and santsi positions in the FIRST game of the season while playing santi and le coq was the best and tested option. it must b until a line up fails that we should use our options. and if not wenger should avoid consistency when he talks

  8. @chun no one denies and disputes the fact that wenger is a legend here and when he inevitably leaves we will dearly miss him. Even manure fans miss Fergie upto date though they had to let go and move on.i just wish that wenger cld exit on a high like fergie by finally delivering an epl or a champions league trophy!

    1. What’s bad about this comment that it got thumbed down??? Indeed Wenger has done pretty well for the club, but HE IS DESTROYING HIS GOOD WORKS.

      1. Whats bad about this comment? Well the fact that he said Arsene is a legend and will be dearly missed is something that your mates on here will blindly hate on without even given it a seconds thought ..if any. It has come to that with allot of Wenger out as they are insulting and belittling so often that they believe that this is their purpose. Ignorant childish behavior should not be new to you, you have high fived enough of them, maybe you should have explained how you thought it was only a joke and not to be taken literally.

    1. You discredited what Wenger has done as an easy job when it’s pretty far from it.
      People praise a lot of his peers for their successes neglecting the obvious fact that they had a lot more ambitious backing from their respective boards and owners, both with wages and incoming players when building a squad.
      Keeping the club a champions league club, with the constant quality players looking for success elsewhere once they’d established themselves as stars under Wenger’s guidance is very much overlooked. Sure, hand Mourinho 100’s of millions of dollars to remake a squad to his liking and he’s one of the best out there in terms of short-term results. But if he’d come to Chelsea and lost Hazard and Terry with limited funds at his disposal, how far do you think he would have got? (No Matic, Fab or Costa) How long do you think it would take for him to build it?

    2. Kempinski, you say you’d like him to leave on a high, but if by that you mean you’d like him to win title this season and then step down well I think you couldn’t be more wrong. If Wenger wins the title I would hope everyone wants him to stick around. Winning the title in a time of che’s Mancs and utds is no easy feat. Your Wenger is a legend and will be dearly missed ..I agree totally.

  9. Honestly, I would not have wanted any other manager than Wenger from 2005-2013

    He kept us in the Top 4 with very limited funds, with a new stadium built and having to pay off. Arshavin was our most expensive signing.

    That said. Now is a different story.

    There was no excuse for not getting a decent striker or winger and DM this summer.

    We could have gone for Kondogbia, Schneiderlin, Krychowiak, Bender, Jackson Martinez, Lacazette, Dybala, Cavani, Pedro, Sturridge, Draxler, etc.

    We are in a fantastic financial position with £200 millon for transfers. Our tickets are the most expensive in the PL.

    Wenger NOT signing more players in the summer has increased our risk of having another average PL season. I’m sick of just Top 4.

    1. Honest questions. If you were to name two supporting forwards in the league the most capable of reaching 15-20 goals in the league without taking penalties who would they be?
      Who’s Chelsea, Liverpool and City’s second choice DM’s? And would you rather have them, or Arteta in the squad? United are the only team with sufficient depth at DM, and i’d want depth too if I had their defence to protect…

    2. Hahah wow some people man, so you wanted wenger to be our manager in one of the most, if not the most difficult time for football clubs where he is heavily restricted while EXPECTED to keep us in the top 4 and relevant while man city, Chelsea, Man U, and even liverpool spend ludicrous amounts of money.
      Then when he steers us through the dark days and makes the club financially stable and relevant for the next 50-100 years you want to replace him and not let him enjoy the fruits of his labor? The lack of respect of puzzling and shameful at times

    3. How long will you propagate this lie about 200 million for transfers? Look on the statement on and convince yourself that Arsenal could have had 40, maximum 60 million transfer budget this year. Not even the media says it anymore for the risk of looking stupid. 200 million is the turnover, cashflow, call it as you want but not transfer budget.

      1. Budd, when next u meet Gazidis, tell him I said he must be an idiot for saying Arsene had money at his disposal to spend. Tell Harris he’s a confused man who knows nothing about the club’s financial status. And tell the entire board that you, Budd, have informed us (fans) properly on the clubs actual financial status: that there’s no money at all, at least not enof for Arsene.

        1. Saying you have money to spend and saying you have 200 million to spend on transfers is a totally different thing. No one said 200 million were for transfers. Not even Lord Carpetright.

          1. BTW, I don’t need to hold your hand and showing you numbers. These are located on If you want, I can give you the link for the financial statements. I know I do it for nothing because you wont even read them but I am just saying. I am willing to do that, yes.

    1. Isn’t that what we are all saying??? Arsene knows best: the motto of Arsenal, that’s what the tattoo on my buttocks says.

      1. How hypocritical are you? I mean seriously you say arsene deserves respect then you will slam him and berate him for next 12 posts pick a side and stick with it kid

        1. How many sides are there to pick from? I can only see one and that’s the realistic side: Arene deserves respect, but he won’t get it as much as he should simply becuz he’s got no respect for the fans and what club football stands for.

  10. If he had gone there, he’d have lost his joba long time ago. FFS, even AnceloTti was let go.

    1. So good thing he didn’t, eh? Boy, this site is full of depressing characters. Must keep distance for the risk of contagion.

      1. Budd, I’m not depressed, I know that’s Wenger’s aim but it won’t get to me. I mean if he isn’t depressed, having fallen behind this much, why should I?

        1. I think you become paranoid. Let me give you the news : Wenger does not know you. But if he is as the people say, then I can assure you he will probably concerned for 3 seconds that you are depressed.

    2. That’s because Madrid is actually an impatient club and I think the most impatient. Otherwise why would they let Ancelotti go provided he did won UCL trophy and Copa del Rey trophy. I doubt whether they will treat Benitez differently if he doesn’t bring them any trophies.

      1. That’s it: If they could let a guy like Ancelloti go, imagine what they could do to Wenger. They won’t let him just go like that, they’d lie him on a table, flog him very well, boo him and ask the ball boys to drag him out for failing woefully even with so much money at his disposal.

        1. “failing woefully even with so much money at his disposal.”
          On what basis has he failed woefully? We haven’t seen the results yet. Why comment so early?

  11. wiLL miss “Le prof” when he goes *Tears Trickle down my chin*
    ……… Oh wait!……
    Did calderon just say Wenger was needed at real madrid?
    Do they still need him?

  12. Whether U @Budd and all other AKBs wanna hear it or not… At this point, Arsene Wenger is making Arsenal look like a joke. Face the fact, Wenger has lost the plot.
    Even King Solomon (The Wise) said it in his writing of Ecclesiastics(The Bible), “There’s time for everything” a time to born, and a time to die, a time to build and a time to tear down”…
    Wenger’s time in Arsenal is just up. If U leave him out of pity, this club will plunge into crisis. Let him go while there’s still a bit of respect left!!!!!

  13. … And don’t be decided, Wenger CANNOT manage Real Madrid or any other ambitious club in Europe. He’ld be gone in two season. He enjoys so much power in Arsenal, bcos the owners only know at business & not Football.
    The year Arsene leaves Arsenal, the team will win Premier League +another trophy with same players Wenger’s leaving behind. All they need is someone to push them to do a little extra, Wenger doesn’t have that in him cos he’s under no pressure or obligation to deliver.
    We all know dis, unless you lie to yourself just to Delude* urself.
    I like Wenger, but don’t Love him anymore. I want success at Arsenal, I want a bragging right among other fans. We deserve that having supported dis club dis long. Arsenal fans deserve better!!!!!!!

    1. So when you here rival fans trying to insult or take the piss out of the Arsenal ..what do you do ..join in.

      And how come so many Wobs have to use numerous pseudonyms.

  14. My heart can not change to other clubs, deep down in my heart i know it’s always arsenal forever.

    How long this depression time not winning the epl for 11 years and ucl even once will be over?

    It’s like waiting for 100 years feeling before this le joke prof OUT of my beloved ARSENAL.

  15. who cares if Arsene has been wanted by PSG, R Madrid or even Barca, the real question is would they have tolorated the failure and stubbornness he has shown as the Arsenal coach in the last 5 years? the answer is NO..

  16. I am sometimes amused by some of the articles in this website but one thing comes out clear. Many of the contributors are either impulsive, uninformed, jokers or comedians. I can’t fathom what is what. Why do I say this? Reading through some writings especially the anti-Wenger ones I wonder whether some people think as they write or simply write for the fun of it! How can anyone with an analytical mind compare Wenger who was working on a shoestring budget with Mourinho who didn’t know what to do with the money? If Wenger had gone to Madrid he would have spent there a long time because he would have won trophies for fan since he would have had no financial impediments. And what’s more he wouldn’t be abused by comedians like those on this site! If there is a man who deserves respect then it is Wenger. He is well-educated, good coach, financial expert, speaks many international languages but above all he built a state-of-the-art stadium for Arsenal. What else should a human being do to deserve respect? However to appreciate an intellectual you must be one yourself and so with other various trades in life. If you have not brought yourself to be analytical you will never appreciate quality even when it is so glaring. Hence the trend of abusive, debase, mediocre and sometimes comical writings in this column.

      1. I must say that I am extremely impressed by the fact that someone took from their precious time to create an user just for me.

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