Arsène Wenger has revealed why the FA Cup means so much to him.

The Frenchman is the joint-most successful manager in the competition’s history, lifting the historic trophy six times, and retaining it last season.

Saturday’s fifth-round fixture against Hull City will be Wenger’s 100th game in the FA Cup, but the manager says that his love affair with the competition started long before he joined the club in 1996.

We had no television and we had to go to school where we had a black and white screen and we could watch the FA Cup final

Arsène Wenger

“I believe the first game on television I ever saw in France was an FA Cup game,” he said. “We had no television and we had to go to school where we had a black and white screen and we could watch the FA Cup final.

“It’s funny because I had an interview yesterday with some people from the FA and they asked me about the history of the English game.

“The first real players I remember are the 1966 players - Bobby Charlton, Bobby Moore, Stiles, Hurst, all these players. Before that, I was nine or 10 years old when I saw some FA Cup finals. But I don’t even remember what teams played.

“At that time I could never imagine I would play 100 FA Cup games. It is a privilege, because 100 is quite a big number and we have always done well in the FA Cup most of the time. I want to defend my record [against Hull City] on Saturday.”
 

Arsène Wenger lifts the FA Cup with Nacho Monreal
Arsène Wenger lifts the FA Cup with Nacho Monreal

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Max Jones 19 Feb 2016