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Football | Perceived slight from Ferguson spurred me on in Champions League final: Ole Gunnar

Former Manchester United player and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, addressing a press conference, in Bengaluru on Febuary 9, 2024.
| Photo Credit: K. Murali Kumar

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was the centrepiece of one of the most dramatic moments in club football. With a stab of the right foot and a late, late winner against Bayern Munich in the 1999 UEFA Champions League final, Solskjaer scripted a famous Manchester United title win. 

The Norwegian, who came on as a substitute on that night at Barcelona, stated that the goal came as a result of a perceived slight from his manager Alex Ferguson.

At half-time, with Manchester United trailing 0-1, Ferguson chose to bring Teddy Sheringham on first, which upset Solskjaer. Sheringham, of course, went on to score the equaliser before Solskjaer stole the show.

“At half-time, Sir Alex talked to Teddy and got him ready to go on. But I was in good form that season, so I was thinking, ‘Why are you not speaking to me? Why are you talking to Teddy?’, Solskjaer said here on Friday.

“So I got myself ready because I knew something special was bound to happen. I play better when I’m a bit angry. I wanted to show Sir Alex that he made a mistake by not putting me on earlier.”

The former Manchester United forward and manager is in the city on a visit hosted by Tilak Gaurang Shah, founder of ‘Ace of Pubs’.

As a child, Solskjaer often dreamed about scoring a magical goal. “I have scored that goal thousands of times when I was a kid. I remember playing football on my own and telling myself, ‘If you score this, you win the European Cup’. I imagined myself being Marco van Basten or Zico. And when it actually happened in 1999, it was all a blur,” Solskjaer said.

Solskjaer weighed in on Marcus Rashford, who was recently fined two weeks’ wages for an inebriated night out in Belfast. Asked how current Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag can get the best out of Rashford, Solskjaer said, “Is it the manager’s job to get the best out of him, or is it the player’s responsibility to get the best out of yourself? I think it is the latter.”

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