By Declan Taylor
Although Arsène Wenger grew up in France, his Champions League infatuation was formed in Germany.
In 1949, Wenger was born in Strasbourg, the principal city of the Alsace region, situated within miles of the German border. He went on to represent his hometown club 11 times in a three-year spell from the late 1970s.
At the time, no French club had ever claimed a European Cup. So naturally, the ever-studious Frenchman was drawn to the more successful clubs over the fence.
“Moenchengladbach and Bayern Munich were the teams I went to see, for different reasons,” said Wenger.
“Moenchengladbach because they played their dynamic game and Bayern Munich because they played a possession game.
“My memories are more German. Because I lived on the German border in Strasbourg. But in 1976 we had St Etienne - they became idolised in France because they became the team that did it in Europe.”Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 5 May 2009