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Arsene Wenger: religion makes you feel always a bit guilty

Arsenal legend Arsene Wenger puts his managerial success down to feeling ‘guilty’ because of his Catholic upbringing.

With religious parents Alphonse and Louise, the 71-year-old grew up in Duttlenheim, France.

It seems like their Catholic faith had a positive impact on Wenger. 

During a 22-year spell in charge of Arsenal, he won three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups 

In an interview with Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, he said: “I think the impact for me was that you’re never completely happy because you never do well enough.”

“The religion makes you feel always a bit guilty because the Catholic religion is like that.”

“We had to confess every week and sometimes I learned to lie as well because I didn’t always remember what I did wrong.”

“You came out fresh, you always felt, ‘Okay I have confessed now. God forgive me – I can start my life again.’”

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Wenger’s family owned a bistro named La Croix d’Or in Strasbourg where the Frenchman would often work.

He added: “I wouldn’t advise anybody to open a bistro and have children. At the time there was no family life.”

“The bistro was open every day of the year. It closed only one day, from four o’clock in the afternoon until midnight.”

“That was on Christmas Day because the village was dominated by religion. So that was no holiday.”

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