Thanks guys was great reading all of those.
Full Name Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Date of Birth 26th Feburary 1973
Place of Birth Kristiansund,
Height 5ft 10
United debut 25/8/1996
Solskjaer's United Record
League 151 (84) 91
FA Cup 15 (15) 8
League Cup 8 (3) 7
Europe 36 (45) 20
Other games 6 (3) 0
Total 216 (150) 126
Solskjaer's International Record
67 Caps - 24 goals
Honours with United
1997 F.A. Premier League
1999 F.A. Premier League
1999 F.A. Cup
1999 European Champions League
1999 Intercontinental Cup
2000 F.A. Premier League
2001 F.A. Premier League
2003 F.A. Premier League
2004 F.A Cup
2007 F.A. Premier League
After playing part time Third Division football in Norway for Clausenegen FK, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer moved to Nowegian Premier League side Molde FK in 1995. In his first season his prolific goal scoring form of 20 goals in 26 appearances led to him being dubbed the "Norwegian Alan Shearer". He scored on his debut for Norway against Jamaica and later scored twice in a 5-0 win over Azerbaijan. 11 goals came in 16 games the following season but having attracted the interest of big clubs throughout Europe his Molde career was at an end and a move to England beckoned.
In the summer of 1996 Alex Ferguson paid a £1.5m fee for Solskjaer's services but few fans expected much of the unknown Norwegian. He himself did not expect to be playing for United until at least the new year. It was therefore a shock when he was immediately put in the first team for a game against Blackburn Rovers at Old Trafford in August 1996.
Reds were slightly bemused by the newcomer who in truth looked about 12 years old but any doubts were quickly silenced. Ole scored on his debut that day and quickly found himself almost a permanent fixture in the first team. He ended the season as the club's top scorer with 19 goals, 18 of them in the League. Ole quickly became a firm favourite with the United faithful who dubbed him "The baby faced assassin" because of his youthful looks.
Solskjaer was a goal-scoring machine who at times, made it look so easy. A cool and deadly finisher from any range he possessed excellent positional sense that put him into great goal scoring positions. As his career progressed he also became a good crosser and intelligent passer of the ball. A full international for Norway, he won a League Championship medal in his first United season and helped United to the semi-final of the European Cup. He also represented Norway at the 1998 World Cup finals, playing in three matches before Norway where knocked out by Italy.
In 1997-98 he lost his place to the partnership of Andy Cole and Teddy Sheringham, his absence mainly caused by injury. Had he played in more games it is likely United would have won the league instead of Arsenal (who capitalised on United's injury problems late in the season). The arrival of Dwight Yorke in August 1999 meant Ole taking on the role he would be become most famous for: "The Super Sub".
Who Put The Ball In The Germans Net ?
1998-99 was a strange season for Solskjaer. At the start of the campaign he was nearly sold to Spurs for £5.5 million, then went on to score 17 goals from only 17 starting appearances. Then in a match away to Nottingham Forest with United already leading 4-1 and 80 minutes on the clock he came on as sub. Ole wasted no time in producing a masterclass in finishing. Yorke and Cole were both on a hat-trick with two each but Solskjaer scored four times in ten minutes to take the match ball and seal an amazing 8-1 away win which is still a Premiership record to this day.
Then to cap it all he came on as an 81st minute substitute in the 1999 Champions League Final and scored the winning goal in injury time. Perhaps the most famous Manchester United goal ever? It certainly clinched the unprecedented Treble and Ole went down as a legend in footballing folklore as in "Where were you when Solskjaer put the ball in the Germans net?"
There can be no doubting the Norwegian's importance, with his many goals adding considerably to United's firepower. Ole seemed to be at his most lethal when coming off the subs bench, scoring late that year against Brondby, West Ham, Forest, Liverpool, and Bayern. His loyalty and willingness to sit on the bench as a super-sub, in the end was rewarded for, with the treble of trophies and a place forever in history.
Solskjaer couldn't hope to top his famous moment in the following season but he still was as lethal as ever in front of goal. Despite being constantly linked with a move to Spurs and only starting fifteen Premiership games his form was unaffected as he rattled in the goals again. Highlights would be the stunning four goals he scored at home to Everton, the double against Sunderland and a brilliant volley from 30 yards at home to Sturm Graz.
The away game to Bordeaux was a classic Ole-United smash and grab, as he came off the bench with 5 minutes to go and scored the winner with virtually his first kick of the ball. Ferguson at that time believed Solskjaer was better coming off the bench when opposition legs are tiring, although the records show he actually scored more when he started than as a sub.
In any other team he would have been a first team starter but then Solskjaer knew that Manchester United are not any other team. He continued to score goals in 2000-2001, often paired alongside Teddy Sheringham with whom he was most effective with. Solskjaer scored a steady stream of goals throughout the season, again often coming off the bench. Ole's best moments where the late winner in the 2-1 over Charlton, a brace to sink Ipswich and a late header to defeat Aston Villa 1-0 at Villa Park.
The 2001-2002 season was Solskjaer's best ever campaign. In a flourishing partnership with new signing Ruud van Nistelrooy the Norwegian got 26 goals. Ole scored twice against in games with Ipswitch, Derby, Nantes, Leeds, Charlton and Deportivo, as well as a brilliant hat-trick away to Bolton.
He showed an increasing lethal-ness in front of goal, taking half-chances and often scoring from impossible angles. His first goal at Charlton was a contender for goal of season with brilliant movement and clinical finish, not forgetting the superb strike he scored away to Lille.
Conversion To A Winger
During 2002-2003 Ole often found himself less up front and more out on the right side of midfield. As David Beckham fell out of favour in the winter months, Ferguson seemed to prefer the added goal threat and playing a more free-flowing 4-3-3 system, as opposed to the rigid 4-4-2 of past years. Solskjaer also demonstrated a new found talent for crossing, it was his cross that found the head of Ryan Giggs to level the score 2-2 at Highbury in the big showdown with Arsenal.
He netted his 100th goal for United in a 1-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion on the opening day of the following season and went on to score 15 Premiership goals. His best moments were probably the equaliser at Newcastle and the fourth in United's 4-0 thrashing of Liverpool. With 29 League starting appearances and 9 in Europe, Ole had passed on the role of super-sub to Diego Forlan and shown himself to a much more versatile weapon in Sir Alex Ferguson's formidable attacking armoury.
In 2003-2004 he never got going as the year was blighted by injury. In September after struggling with a knee problem, club doctors decided an operation was needed. Ole was out until the end of February and on his return appeared mostly as sub. Transfer speculation suggested Solskjaer's Old Trafford days were numbered due to the impact of the injury but worse was to follow as his knee broke down again.
At the start of season 2004-2005 it was rumoured Ole's career was finished but thankfully it was proven untrue. After further knee surgery, a long period of rehabilitation was required to build up strength in the knee cartilage. Finally, the Norwegian returned in the 2-2 draw with Birmingham on 28th December 2005 and went on to play in five matches.
Despite his long absence, Ole was still a much loved hero amongst United fans who sung his name loudly with the "You are my Solskjaer" song a long standing favourite. He is popular not only for his European Cup winning goal but because he bravely lent support to Shareholders United fight against the Glazer takeover - the only Manchester United player to do so.
On March 31st 2006 he signed a new contract with United until the end of the 2008 season. The contract allowed him to develop his coaching skills and qualifications and Sir Alex Ferguson stated that Ole would be used in an ambassadorial role for the club. In the 2006-2007 season he showed he still had the goal scoring touch with 11 goals for the Reds in 15 starting appearances with 16 as substitute.
His goals include a late strike at Charlton (his first since his return from injury), two at home to Newcastle, the winner at home to Celtic and a last gasp winner at home to Aston Villa. Solskjaer also resumed international duties, scoring twice for Norway, away to Hungary in September 2006.
In April 2007 Ole annouced he would retire when his contract with United ends in June 2008 but on 27th August 2007, Solskjaer announced his retirement from football. After continuing problems with his knee and undergoing minor knee surgery in June, he suffered another setback so serious that forced his decision. However, Solskjaer will remain at Old Trafford in a coaching role to achieve his coaching badges and acts in an ambassadorial capacity.
The Manchester United number 20 shirt will now always be associated with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after 11 fantastic years, with six league championships, two FA Cups' and that legendary Champions League. He was a truly great servant to the club and a model professional. Incredibly loyal to his manager and club when other players would have sought a money spinning transfer, he was also prepared speak up for the fans. Solskjaer was the sort of player that is rare indeed in the modern game.
United fans will always hold him close to their hearts for that unforgettable night in Barcelona, for being a deadly finisher, for all the great goals and for being a really nice bloke. Better players may come and go but few will be as loved at Old Trafford as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
He supported Liverpool as a boy. (don't think he'd be too welcome in the Kop nowadays)
Ole did a years National Service in the Norwegian Army.
Solskjaer didn't play in the Norwegian 1st Division until he was 22. Outside of football the person he says he most admires is Elvis.
He is known as the "baby faced assassin", because of his youthful looks. He hates being called it though.
Amazingly Solskjaer trained as a wrestler. His Dad was Norway's Greco-Roman Wrestling Champion from 1966-71.
Sir Bobby Charlton once said of him, "I don't know anybody who makes up his mind quicker than him. I am not just talking about strikers in the modern game - I have never seen anyone like him in the modern era. He's amazing."
Solskjaer quote about Barcelona 99: "When Teddy scored, I thought, yes! I'm going to play 40 minutes of a Champions League Final. That's going to be unbelievable."
Ole told a friend the night before the final to make sure they watched the game as he felt certain that he would score a goal.
The Stretford End has a banner dedicated to him reading "20LEGEND".
United fan's sing: (to the tune of "You are my sunshine")
"You are my Solskjaer, my Ole Solskjaer,
you make me happy, when skies are grey,
and Alan Shearer, was f**king dearer,
so Please don't take, My Solskjaer, Away....."
United fan's also sing: "Who put the ball in the Germans net? Ole Gunnar Solskjaer!!!"
Solskjaer is a patron of the fans action group Shareholders United