Wenger among mourners as former Liverpool boss Houllier is laid to rest

Arsene Wenger was present as former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier was laid to rest during a ceremony in Paris.

Houllier passed away aged 73 last week after undergoing heart surgery.

The Frenchman spent six years in the Anfield hot seat, winning two League Cups, the FA Cup and the UEFA Cup, and news of his death was met with a multitude of tributes.

Among those to fondly remember Houllier – who also managed PSG, France, and Lyon – was compatriot Wenger.

And the Arsenal legend was present at the funeral in the French capital on Monday to pay his respects to his old friend.


In a tribute to Houllier last week, Wenger told French outlet L'Equipe : "He was extremely intelligent, he passionately loved football, and was of a generous nature.

"He understood things very quickly, he had the ability to synthesise things incredibly well. And he was positive, he liked people. That is why his passing is such a shock. French football is losing a great voice.

"He was a great manager, but, in the wake of Georges Boulogne, he also continued to perfect the foundations of French football, which we still enjoy today."

Wenger also opened up on how he, Houllier and former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein had stayed in touch throughout lockdown with weekly video calls.

Now working as FIFA's Head of Football Development, Wenger also recalled his Premier League encounters with Houllier's Liverpool.

He added: "It was always a good friendship, but in that context, he was more exemplary than me, he was more fair play than me.

"As matches unfurled, I could get annoyed, but he always managed to smooth things over, even when we interpreted an action or decision differently, and thanks to him our friendship always outlasted our differences during matches.

"After the matches, it was back, intact."

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