Ian Wright opens up on ‘genuine hatred’ behind long-running feud with Schmeichel

Ian Wright has admitted he "genuinely hated" Peter Schmeichel during the period when the two were at loggerheads in their playing careers.

The legendary Arsenal goalscorer and former Man Utd stopper Schmeichel were involved in some fierce battles down the years which formed a key element of the rivalry between both clubs.

Their altercation in 1997 characterised their relationship, with Wright producing a heavy and reckless challenge on the Danish keeper.

The pair have since ended their differences and are now good friends, though that certainly wasn't the case at the height of their conflict.

Wright told the Match of the Day podcast: "We get on well, play golf together and laugh about the collisions we had.

"When we speak about it now, me and Schmeichel, we talk about how much I genuinely hated him as a goalkeeper.

"I knew how good he was and how hard it was to score against him. The only goals I ever scored against him were in friendlies!"

Their bitter rivalry boiled over at the end of a league encounter at Highbury in February '97.

Wright explained: "We’d had a bit of an altercation at Old Trafford which led to this game which was a couple of months later.

“The tackle which everybody sees, the whistle had already gone and I just didn’t stop. We’re both running for the ball, the red mist was there and I just jumped on the ball with two feet – they said it was the tackle that shamed football.

“When I look back at it now, it’s quite an embarrassing thing to see."

The ex-England striker was discussing the Premier League's all-time 10 top goalkeepers with colleagues Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer.

Schmeichel is regarded by many as the greatest no.1 of the Premier League era, having helped United dominate the division in the nineties.

During his eight-year spell at Old Trafford Schmeichel won no fewer than five league titles, and is remembered for his trademark save.

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