Sir Alex Ferguson sends Arsene Wenger congratulatory letter ahead of 1,000th match

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A kind gesture was extended today from one legendary manager to another as Sir Alex Ferguson paid tribute to longtime Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

With the Frenchman set to mark his 1,000th match in charge of Arsenal FC, Ferguson sent his former counterpart a letter.

“I congratulate Arsene in reaching this momentous landmark,” wrote Ferguson. “Having also reached the same milestone at one club, I cannot emphasize enough the level of dedication, resilience as well as sacrifice required and for that I have for the utmost admiration.”

Ferguson pointed out how special his matchups with Wenger were to him, and said watching Arsenal from a neutral perspective always put a smile on his face.

“Over the years we enjoyed some fantastic battles and you could say we had survived together and respected each other’s efforts to play good football,” said the Manchester United legend. “I always enjoy watching Arsene’s sides – Arsenal play the right way. Perhaps the biggest compliment I could give Arsene is that I could never be anything other than competitive with my rival for 17 years.”

Wenger responded on the official Arsenal website, saying the letter means a lot to him, and that he works this cutthroat business not just for winning and losing.

“In fact, the real goal of professional football entails not just winning but also enabling people to discover the pleasure of watching something beautiful,” Wenger said through the official Arsenal website.

The 64-year-old began managing Arsenal in 1996.  Wenger’s 1,000th game will come against Jose Mourinho and Chelsea at 8:45am ET from Stamford Bridge on Saturday, which you can watch live on NBCSN and live online at NBC Sports Live Extra. Hopefully a puffy jacket is involved, it would only be fitting (see what I did there?).

LINEUPS: Tim Howard starts for USMNT against Costa Rica

SALVADOR, BRAZIL - JULY 01:  Tim Howard of the United States gestures during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Round of 16 match between Belgium and the United States at Arena Fonte Nova on July 1, 2014 in Salvador, Brazil.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
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The United States takes on Costa Rica in a friendly tonight at Red Bull Arena, as the USMNT must put the Mexico match behind them and focus on the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage ]

The biggest inclusion in tonight’s starting XI is that of Tim Howard in goal, marking his return to the national side after taking a self-imposed sabbatical. It will be Howard’s first appearance for the USMNT since his legendary performance against Belgium in the 2014 World Cup.

Klinsmann has chosen to go with a 4-4-2 tonight, and Geoff Cameron remains the only starter in the back-line from the Mexico match. He’ll partner with Michael Orozco in the center of defense, with Brad Evans and Tim Ream on the outsides.

[ MORE: Fabian Johnson sent home from USMNT after fall-out with Klinsmann ]

In the midfield, Klinsmann has put some speed on the wings through the likes of DeAndre Yedlin and recent call-up Brek Shea. Danny Williams joins Jermaine Jones as the central midfielders.

Up top, Jozy Altidore will play alongside Gyasi Zardes, who returns to his more comfortable position as forward.

Cristiano Ronaldo wins record fourth European Golden Boot

MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 13:  Real Madrid football player Cristiano Ronaldo poses with his four Golden Boot Awards as maximun goal scorer of European leagues at The Westin Palace Hotel on October 13, 2015 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
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Cristiano Ronaldo has added another trophy to the collection, winning his fourth Golden Boot as Europe’s top scorer for the 2014-15 season.

The award accounts for goals in league play only, which means the Champions League and domestic tournaments are not included. In La Liga, Ronaldo scored 48 goals in 35 appearances.

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Ronaldo first won the award after the 2007-08 season with Manchester United, and has now added three more with Real Madrid in 2010-11, 2013-14, and 2014-15.

With his fourth win, Ronaldo moves ahead of Lionel Messi as the only player to win the award four times. Messi has won three, while eight players have won two.

Below is a post from Ronaldo’s Facebook page reflecting on the award:

What a special moment in my professional life!

Winning four Golden Boots is a privilege for me and I’ll keep challenging myself because I want to do better every time and I want to keep chasing for more records.

I have to thank everyone in Real Madrid that made this possible and we want to keep winning more titles and more trophies. Thank you everyone.

Ronaldo alone scored more goals in La Liga play last season than 14 clubs did, which shows how prolific his season was. The only player to score more than 48 league goals in a European season was Messi, who scored 50 in 2011-12.

[ EURO 2016: A look at the 20 teams that have qualified for France ]

While it was a successful year for Ronaldo personally, it was a very disappointing campaign for Real Madrid, who fired manager Carlo Ancelotti after finishing the season without a trophy.