Ole Solskjaer Profile

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Ole Gun­nar Sol­skjaer, born Kris­ti­an­sund, Nor­way, Feb­ruary 26, 1973. Ole Gun­nar Sol­skjaer ap­peared for Nor­we­gi­an clubs Clausen­en­gen and Molde be­fore he sig­ned wi­th Man­chester Uni­ted on the 29th of Ju­ly 1996. The Norse­man pro­ceeded to play well over 350 fir­st te­am mat­ches for Uni­ted un­til he fi­nally hung up his foot­balling boots in the sum­mer of 2007.

Man­chester Uni­ted su­premo Sir Al­ex Fer­guson en­joyed some not­able suc­cess in the trans­fer mar­ket through­out his dis­tin­guished and richly re­ward­ing Old Traf­ford ca­reer, and the £1.5 mil­lion fee which the ex­per­i­enced and farsighted man­ager agreed wi­th Nor­we­gi­an Pre­mier Lea­gue run­ners-up Molde for Ole Gun­nar Sol­skjaer at the start of the 1996-97 sea­son was with­out doubt an ab­so­lute bar­gain. The Man­chester Uni­ted faith­ful barely raised an eye­brow when the pre­co­ciously tal­en­ted young­ster from Nor­way ar­rived at The Car­ring­ton Train­ing Gro­und in the sum­mer of 1996, how­ever, but it did not take long for the Old Traf­ford sup­port­ers to real­ise that their club had un­earthed a re­al find. At Man­chester Uni­ted, Sol­skjaer would stamp his quiet au­thor­ity on a te­am which con­tained al­ready es­tab­lished star play­ers such as Da­vid Beck­ham, Eric Can­tona, Ry­an Gig­gs, De­nis Ir­win, Ga­ry Pal­lister, Pe­ter Schmei­chel, and Paul Scho­les, to name a few. Af­ter find­ing the back of the net for Uni­ted in a hard-fou­ght 2-2 Pre­mier Lea­gue de­but draw ag­ainst fierce loc­al rivals Black­burn Rov­ers at The Theatre of Dreams on the 25th of Au­gust 1996, the de­term­ined and whole­hearted at­tack­er would go on to hit 19 goals in 46 fir­st class ga­mes for The Red Dev­ils dur­ing his in­aug­ur­al year in Manchester.

A foot­baller who al­ways rose to the oc­ca­sion dur­ing im­port­ant mat­ches, the ab­so­lute pin­nacle of his pro­fes­sion­al sport­ing life ar­rived in the in­delible Cham­pi­ons Lea­gue Fi­nal on the 26th of May 1999 as the leth­al fin­ish­er sco­red the win­ning goal ag­ainst Ger­man Bundes­liga gi­ants Bay­ern Mu­nich in front of 90,000 people at the Camp Nou Sta­dium in Barcle­ona in the very last min­ute of the 2-1 suc­cess over The Bav­ari­ans. Ottmar Hitzfeldt´s men earned them­selves an early lead al­ready in the sixth min­ute of the Cham­pi­ons Lea­gue Fi­nal thro­ugh a well ex­ecuted free kick from Ger­many in­ter­na­tion­al Mario Basler. Wi­th as little as one min­ute re­maining on Itali­an ref­er­ee Pier­luigi Collona´s watch, a dan­ger­ous cor­ner kick from Da­vid Beck­ham ev­entually ended at the two feet of Teddy Sher­ingham who equal­ised wi­th a well pla­ced shot in­to the bot­tom cor­ner of the net. Then just be­fore the mat­ch of­fi­cial blew his whistle for full time, Sher­ingham ma­naged to nod yet an­oth­er Beck­ham flag kick onto Sol­skjaer who ham­mered the ball in­to the back of the net from a few yards out to hand the vic­tory to Ferguson´s Uni­ted. Solskjaer´s powers of per­sever­ance were severely put to the test when he suf­fered a knee in­jury in a 5-0 Cham­pi­ons Lea­gue Group Sta­ge win over Panath­inaikos at Old Traf­ford on the 16th Septem­ber 2003, but he re­turned to mar­ch ac­tion when he took the field as a sec­ond ha­lf sub­sti­tute for Phil Ne­ville in a 1-1 Pre­miership draw wi­th Leeds Uni­ted at Old Traf­ford on the 21st Feb­ruary of 2004, and went on to ac­cu­mu­late an im­press­ive 126 goals in 366 fir­st te­am ap­pear­ances for The Reds.

The Nor­we­gi­an was very un­for­tu­nate in how his pro­fes­sion­al foot­balling days were cur­tailed by per­sist­ent in­jur­ies at the end of the 2006-07 cam­paign, tho­ugh, but the pop­u­lar per­former de­cided to stay, and he ev­entually took over the coach­ing reigns of the Man­chester Uni­ted Re­serves the fol­low­ing year. And al­though he ul­ti­mately left the Man­chester club to man­age his pre­vi­ous te­am Molde in the au­tumn of 2010, he main­tained his clo­se re­la­tion­ship wi­th his ment­or Sir Al­ex Fer­guson. With­out any ques­tion, Sol­skjaer was an ex­cep­tion­ally skilled and in­cred­ibly mul­ti­func­tion­al pro­fes­sion­al who could op­er­ate up front as well as in the mid­field and he would pro­duce goals bey­ond the men­tal im­agery of most of his con­tem­por­ary play­ers, pos­sess­ing a win­ning com­mand of the ro­und ball. Wi­th Man­chester Uni­ted, the su­per sub­sti­tute won the Pre­mier Lea­gue in 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, and 2007, the FA Cup in 1999 and 2004, the FA Com­munity Shield in 1996, 1997, and 2003, as well as the much coveted Cham­pi­ons Lea­gue in 1998–99. In hon­our of the long serving Man­chester Uni­ted stal­wart, a truly well de­served testi­mo­ni­al mat­ch was staged ag­ainst Span­ish La Liga out­fit Es­panyol in front of a stag­ger­ing 68,000 crowd at The Theatre of Dreams on the 2nd of Au­gust 2008.

A Nor­we­gi­an in­ter­na­tion­al, Ol­lie Sol­skjaer was han­ded his seni­or de­but by head coach and foot­ball pro­fess­or Egil “Drillo” Ol­sen in a closely con­tested 1-1 friendly ga­me draw ag­ainst Ja­maica at The Na­tion­al Sta­dium in King­ston on the 26th of Nov­ember 1995, wi­th the de­butant scor­ing for the vis­it­ors in the 80th min­ute. Sol­skjaer pro­ceeded to notch up a re­spect­able 23 goals in 67 ap­pear­ances for his na­tive coun­try and the fruit­ful fron­trun­ner would play in bo­th the 1998 FIFA Wor­ld Cup in Fran­ce, and the 2000 UEFA Euro­pean Foot­ball Cham­pi­on­ship in Bel­gi­um and Hol­land, be­fore ma­king his fi­nal seni­or ap­pear­ance for his home­land in a 2-1 friendly fix­ture de­feat ag­ainst Croa­tia at the Kan­trida Sta­dium in Rijeka on the 7th of Feb­ruary 2007. Ole Gun­nar Sol­skjaer Play­ing Ca­reer: Clausen­en­gen, Molde, Man­chester Uni­ted. Play­ing Hon­ours: Eng­lish Pre­mier Lea­gue 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2007, Eng­lish FA Cup 1999, 2004, Eng­lish FA Com­munity Shield  1996, 1997, 2003, UEFA Cham­pi­ons Lea­gue 1999, UEFA/CONMEBOL In­ter­con­tin­ent­al Cup 1999.


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