Jumat, 30 Januari 2009


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Full name: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
born: 26.02.1973
born in: Kristiansund, Norway Norway
Nationality: Norway
Height: 176 cm
Weight: 74 kg

Ole Gunnar Solskjær, Knight First Class, Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav (born 26 February 1973 in Kristiansund, Møre og Romsdal) is a Norwegian former footballer who spent the majority of his career playing for Manchester United, often dubbed the "Baby-faced assassin". He is the current Manchester United Reserve team manager. He played 366 times for the Red Devils and scored 126 goals during a very successful period for the club. Solskjær's defining moment in football came in injury time of the 1999 UEFA Champions League Final where he scored the winning last-minute goal against Bayern Munich, completing a remarkable comeback and winning The Treble for United.

Before he moved to England, Solskjær completed a year's national service in the Norwegian army, and played part time for Third Division Norwegian Clausenengen F.K., later moving to Norwegian Premier League Molde F.K. in 1994. He joined United on 29 July 1996, for a transfer fee of £1.5m. He is a patron of the Manchester United Supporters' Trust (formerly Shareholders United).

On 27 August 2007, Solskjær announced his retirement from football after failing to recover from a serious knee injury. However, Solskjær remained at Old Trafford in a coaching role, as well as in an ambassadorial capacity. On 20 May 2008, Solskjær was announced as Manchester United's first full-time Reserve team manager since 2006, taking over from Brian McClair and Jimmy Ryan, who had filled the role in a caretaker capacity.

In November 2007 Solskjær was made a Knight, First Class of the Royal Norwegian Order of St Olav by King Harald V of Norway.[4] He was presented with the award in a ceremony on 25 October 2008 in his hometown of Kristiansund. Solskjær is the youngest ever recipient of the knighthood, usually bestowed upon notable members of society in their later years.

For his commitment to Manchester United, Solskjaer was granted a testimonial which took place in the pre-season preparations for the 2008-09 season. The match was against Espanyol and was played on August 2nd. The game ended 1-0 to Manchester United, with the only goal coming from Fraizer Campbell shortly after the 80 minute mark. The testimonial gathered 68,868 spectators, the 2nd largest attendance for a testimonial in Great Britain, only beaten by Roy Keane's testimonial.

Statistic Club Career

07/1996 - 08/2007 ==> Manchester United, England
01/1994 - 06/1996 ==> Molde FK, Norway

Early Manchester United years

Solskjær had scored 31 goals in 42 matches for Molde in the Norwegian Premier League, and he did not disappoint at the start of his United career, scoring six minutes into his debut as a substitute against Blackburn Rovers in the Premiership in the 1996-97 season.

Solskjær scored 18 Premiership goals for United in his first season, helping United win the title in the last weeks of the season. The British media nicknamed him the "Baby-Faced Assassin" because of his youthful looks and his deadly finishing. He will perhaps be best remembered as a "super-sub", having earned wide acclaim for a remarkable habit of coming into matches late on as a substitute and scoring goals. Alex Ferguson remarked that Solskjær has a knack of sitting on the bench and studying the game without taking his eye off the action. One of his most impressive feats was coming off the bench to score four goals in the last twelve minutes of United's 8-1 thrashing of Nottingham Forest.

Solskjær stayed at Old Trafford even though other clubs showed interest in the player in 1998. The Norwegian went on to score the winning goal in the 1999 UEFA Champions League Final, helping the team secure the Treble and cementing his own place in the United folklore. These feats made him a favourite among the United supporters, inspiring songs such as "Who Put the Ball in the Germans' Net?" and "You Are My Solskjær". Although he had been absent on the pitch for a long time due to injury, United fans still fill matches with chants sung in Solskjær's honour.

After a few years of playing in the role of super-sub, Solskjær got a chance as a starter in the 2001-02 season, paired up with striker Ruud van Nistelrooy. He took the opportunity with characteristic incisiveness, forcing Andrew Cole and Dwight Yorke onto the bench.

By 2002-03, after both Andrew Cole and Dwight Yorke had left Old Trafford, Solskjær had only Diego Forlán and Van Nistelrooy to compete with for a place in the starting line-up. Still, Ferguson's persistence in playing van Nistelrooy up front as a lone striker meant that opportunities were limited.

Solskjær was subsequently given his time again when David Beckham picked up an injury and Ferguson played the Norwegian on the right wing. While proving himself to be an able crosser of the ball, Solskjær also popped up with goals, scoring a total of 16 goals for the season. He was selected to play on the right in important matches, such as in the league game against Arsenal and the Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid, while Beckham was left on the bench. He also captained the team in a number of matches.

Solskjær played for Norway in the 1998 FIFA World Cup and Euro 2000 and has 67 international caps.

Injury-plagued seasons

In 2003-04, Solskjær found himself in and out of the United squad as he struggled with a recurring knee problem. Coupled with the arrival of Louis Saha from Fulham in January 2004, Solskjær found himself out of the first team and found himself either in his original role of super-sub or in central midfield. Solskjær still returned from injury in time to play in the 2004 FA Cup final, which the club won. The arrival of Alan Smith in summer 2004 nonetheless led to rumours that Solskjær was to leave Old Trafford, along with Nicky Butt, who eventually moved to Newcastle United, and David Bellion, who had been largely replaced by Wayne Rooney. Solskjær underwent intensive knee surgery in August 2004 and had to miss the 2004-05 season entirely. While he eventually recovered his fitness, it was difficult for the 32-year-old to carve his niche again among the heavy-weight attack of Manchester United. The Old Trafford faithful, however, displayed almost fanatical loyalty in their desire to see Solskjær in action again.

To show their continuing support, fans added a banner to the collection that lines the Stretford End reading "20 LEGEND" (Solskjær wore number 20 for United). Solskjær further solidified his status amongst United fans when he became a patron of the supporters action group, Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST), previously Shareholders United.

Statistic International Career

World Cup 1998, France
Friendlies 2007
Friendlies 2006
Friendlies 2004
Friendlies 2003
Friendlies 1999
EURO 2000, Holland/Belgium
EURO Qualifiers 2006/2007
EURO Qualifiers 2002/2003

Future career as player-coach

On 31 March 2006, Solskjær signed a new contract with Manchester United until the end of the 2008 season, with a provision to allow him to develop his coaching awards. He also acted in an ambassadorial role for the club, when he travelled to Hong Kong in 2006 and played with students at the Manchester United Soccer School in Hong Kong. In July 2006, Solskjær participated in a pre-season game against Orlando Pirates, playing for 45 minutes and scoring 2 goals in United's 4-0 win. He also scored in matches against Preston North End and F.C. Porto. Ferguson praised the player and said he would re-consider his plan to buy a new striker.[11] On 16 August 2006 Solskjær returned for the Norwegian national team and played for 45 minutes against Brazil in a 1-1 draw.

On 2 September 2006, Solskjær scored his first goal for the national team after his injury, when he scored the first and last goals in a 4-1 win against Hungary in a Euro 2008 qualifying match. It was also his first post-injury professional match where he played the full game.

On 19 April 2007, Solskjær stated that he could not see himself playing professional football past his contract expiry date, at the end of the 2008 season. He has already been granted a testimonial following his long service to the club—and in recognition of his popularity with supporters. The match took place on August 2nd 2008, a 1-0 win over RCD Espanyol. Solskjaer played the final 25 minutes of the match, coming close to scoring on two occasions.

In an interview in July covered on ManUtd.com, Solskjær refused to put a timescale on his professional career, but he was confident he would play out the one year left in his contract at Manchester United. He said, "The knee will never be 100 percent again, but as long as it doesn't hurt I'll continue to play. I don't know how long I can continue. It might be over after this season or I might be able to play another season." When interviewed by Setanta Sports in August 2007, Solskjær confirmed he would train to be a coach after retiring from professional football, and would start to earn the required badges after his last season with Manchester United. He also stated that unless his knee returned to a better state by the end of the 2007-08 season, that would definitely be his last season.

On 27 August 2007, it was announced that Solskjær had retired from football with immediate effect due to his ongoing knee injury. Finally, on September 4 at the home game against Sunderland, his retirement was officially announced over the Old Trafford tannoy, with Solskjær walking onto the pitch to a standing ovation. As of his retirement, Solskjær holds the record for the most goals scored for Manchester United as a substitute, scoring 28 goals off the bench.

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