By Giuseppe Muro

Arsène Wenger insists Arsenal have not tried to copy Barcelona's footballing philosophy.

Since his arrival in England 15 years ago, the manager has been portrayed as the guardian of the beautiful game. Pep Guardiola has brought similar principles to Barcelona since taking charge but, while Wenger admires the way the Spanish champions play, he says any suggestion of copying is nonsense.

"We have tried to get closer to them but we never copied anybody, we always tried to play our football," said the manager.

"Because Barcelona [have] won with their style, it's the unique comparison we get. But really that doesn't bother me too much, what bothers me is that my team continues to become stronger in every single game.

"I respect a lot Barcelona and I still think they are the best team in the world."

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18 Feb 2011