Arsene Wenger has drawn praise for his managerial style and warm personality from the global football community after the Arsenal boss officially revealed he will step down at the season's end.
The 67-year-old will bring the curtain down on his 22-year reign in charge of the Gunners when the 2017/18 campaign draws to a close, and Wenger has been the recipient of many plaudits and kind words in the hours that have followed the official announcement.
Arsenal legend Bob Wilson broke down in tears on the BBC's Radio 5 Live show as he explained how Wenger had helped his family out during a time when his now deceased daughter suffered from a rare form of cancer in 1998.
The ex-goalkeeper said: "I was there on the day he arrived and he is without doubt one of the three greatest men I have ever met in my life. It is not just his football knowledge and the way he changed the game in this country but as a human being through difficult times for me and my wife."
Ex-midfielder Paul Merson told Sky Sports that Wenger was 'ahead of his time' when he took over at former ground Highbury.
He said: "I played under him for just under a year, it was the fittest I ever was. It was like clockwork. It was a machine. He was so far ahead of his time, it was unbelievable."
Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Friday (via BBC Sport), Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp hailed Wenger as the 'dominant guy' in the mid-1990s and early 2000s after he was appointed in 1996.
The German said: "He is an influence in football. He was there for so long, 22 years is a long time. He was the dominating guy in mid 1990s, 2000s.I wish him all the best."
Meanwhile, former captain Tony Adams labelled his ex-gaffer the 'greatest Arsenal manager ever', Southampton boss Mark Hughes revealed that Wenger 'moved the goalposts' where football management was concerned and Paris Saint-Germain head coach said it was 'impossible' to talk about Arsenal without mentioning Wenger's name.
And the tributes continued to flow on social media as former Arsenal stars, alongside opposition clubs, the media and pundits paid tribute to the Frenchman for his game-defining tactics, trophy success and longevity at the highest level:
An emotional day. Arsène took English football to a different level & pushed me to become the player I never thought I'd be. Let's cherish the memories & his legacy, which will always remain. We must thank him for giving his all to make @Arsenal such a great club. #MerciArsène pic.twitter.com/X9fvMGaWJW— Lauren Etame Mayer (@Lauren12arsenal) April 20, 2018
My favourite Arsene Wenger quote:— Daniel Storey (@danielstorey85) April 20, 2018
"I believe the target of anything in life should be to do it so well that it becomes an art."
For a decade, he did that.
Just seen the news about Arsene stepping down at the end of the season...— Alex Scott MBE (@AlexScott) April 20, 2018
I have been fortunate to be at Arsenal for over 22 years and what he has done for our club has been unbelievable. He’s an absolute gentleman as a person.
It's a sad day for Premier League football. pic.twitter.com/PfNGobcpze
Arsene Wenger built the best teams that I played against in English Football .The 98 team was Amazing.The biggest compliment is that he played football that made us change the way we played against them. He now deserves the most incredible send off from all in the coming weeks.— Gary Neville (@GNev2) April 20, 2018
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Wenger secured 10 major titles during his career in north London, and amassed over 800 matches during his two-decade long spell in England.
It is unclear if he will retire at the end of this term or head for pastures new, but there's no doubting that he'll now receive a tremendous send off before the 17/18 campaign ends next month.