Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was always a rare Manchester United player. Not just because he scored a goal that won us the European Cup, not just because he always took his starting place on the bench without grumbling and not just because he genuinely is just a bloody nice bloke. He is rare because he is one of the very few Manchester United players who isn’t hated by the masses of rival fans in this country, rather respected and admired as a true professional.
The tributes that can be found all over the internet today are testament to what a great player he was and person he is, although none of them are likely to do him justice.
For our fans, he will always go up there as one of our best loved and his testimonial match tomorrow has brought around a great deal of reflection.
Solskjaer is fully aware of the special relationship he has with our fans and in a day and age where players seem to take for granted their position in a club, Ole has always been grateful and appreciative.
“I could never have imagined achieving anything like this when I first came to Manchester United,” said Solskjaer. “I worked for the best manager of all time (Sir Alex Ferguson). I played with the best players in the world and in front of the best supporters. I am very proud of what I achieved but very humble as well that I was given the opportunity to do that.”
Earlier this week I asked what your favourite Solskjaer moment was, and whilst there are plenty, this topic can’t be broached without talking about that magical evening at the Nou Camp.
“I remember sticking my foot out and the ball going in but everything else is a bit of a blur,” Solskjaer continued. “It was pure instinct. I had never even done it in practice. I was not familiar with the feeling when my foot hit the ball, so I didn’t know it was going in. Thankfully it did. Funnily enough we had done something very similar to Liverpool in the FA Cup earlier that season and I got the winner then. So while we were surprised to beat Bayern, it wasn’t a shock that we achieved it in the way we did.”