Arsène Wenger has paid tribute to Nelson Mandela, the former South Africa president who died on Thursday at the age of 95.

Mr Mandela became one of the world's most respected statesmen after emerging from 27 years in jail to rise to power in 1994, helping to end apartheid rule in South Africa.

Mr Mandela's influence was felt far beyond his own country and the Arsenal manager is a great admirer.

"He is a huge example for everybody, not only in sport but worldwide, for his huge democratic attitude and his capacity of forgiveness," said Wenger at a press conference after visiting the Teenage Cancer Trust unit ahead of the Club’s charity match day.

"Unfortunately when you look at the state of Africa today, you think that his example has not been followed enough, and all over the world.

"He remains one of the big examples I have known in my lifetime."

Nelson Mandela meets the Arsenal team on tour in 1993
Nelson Mandela meets the Arsenal team on tour in 1993

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 Chris Harris 6 Dec 2013