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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: A Manchester United tribute

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's late goal against Bayern Munich in the 1999 Champions League final remains arguably the most dramatic in its long, prestigious history. The image of him, flanked by Ronny Johnsen and Dwight Yorke, sliding on his knees in celebration is iconic both to the tournament and to Manchester United Football Club.

Of course there was much more to the Norwegian than the goal which elevated United to a place amongst the footballing gods.

He was the ultimate professional, both on and off the field. The baby-faced assassin, the Javier Hernandez of days gone by. Whether it was from the start, or from the substitutes bench, he would always score. He dealt in minutes, not in matches.

Memories of his time in a red shirt are endless. The four goals scored against Nottingham Forest in an 8-1 thrashing were outstanding. So too were his four goals against Everton a season later, and his late winner in the FA Cup to see off a spirited Liverpool side who had come within minutes of ending their treble dreams.

Injuries blighted his later years yet there were still moments of the old Solskjaer. He scored in the 3-2 win against Celtic in the Champions League, and typically scored late and off the bench to dump Aston Villa out of the FA Cup just months prior to his 2007 retirement.

His selflessness was one of the most refreshing and endearing things about him. For a lot of his time he played second fiddle to the likes of Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Eric Cantona, Andy Cole and Dwight York yet not once did he moan. He understood football was about the team and the club was the priority.

So astute was his footballing brain it meant a career in management would be inevitable. He returns to Old Trafford on Tuesday night as manager of Cardiff City after a trophy-laden spell at Molde in Norway, where he won the Norwegian Premier League twice.

Fuelled by success, the mentality that made him a sensational player has made him a sensational manager. His early results in Wales have been positive, a start to justifying Vincent Tan’s decision to sack Malkay Mackay back in December.

There will always be place for him in the hearts of the fans and the club. And though United will be his enemy on Tuesday, Old Trafford will always be his home.

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Topics:
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Cardiff City
Premier League
Manchester United
Football

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DISCLAIMER

This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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