Arsène Wenger will only retire when he loses the
"physical desire to win".
This week the Arsenal manager reportedly suggested he could go on for another 20 years. However, at Friday's press conference, the 58-year-old was not prepared to put a time-frame on it. In reality, Wenger said, his body would tell him when it was time to go.
"I was asked when I want to retire and I said 'I don't know'," he commented. "It could be tomorrow, it could be 10 years.
"I must say I don't think like that, I think about the next game and say 'let's do it'.
"It's a balance between internal desire, the
instinctive animal desire to fight and win plus being wise enough
to make the right decisions.
"Also you must give yourself a good distance from the pressure. I cannot imagine being sat on the bench at 92 saying 'come on my friend let's do it'.
"Anyway," he joked. "Giovanni Trappatoni has just signed for Ireland at 69 and you want me out at 58!"
The Frenchman took charge of his first club, AS Nancy, in 1984. That was a full decade after his opponent on Saturday, Sir Alex Ferguson, did likewise at East Stirlingshire. At 66, the Scot is eight years older than Wenger but his inner desire has barely diminished. It is something both men have in common.
"Of course," replied the Arsenal boss when the point was put to him. "As long as winning means something to you, you go for it because you sacrifice nearly everything for the next game and you live the life of a professional football player.
"That means if it's not so important any more you are not ready to sacrifice, to not go out and prepare like a player.
"You only do that because it has massive meaning for you to win."