Will definitely miss my favourite player in the team.
Will definitely miss my favourite player in the team.
Minolta. Konica Minolta. Sony
Ole confirms retirement
After much deliberation and with deep sadness, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer today announces his retirement from his playing career.
The decision was reached after continuing problems with his knee injury. Ole will remain at the Club in a coaching capacity and will represent Manchester United as an official Ambassador.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: "I would like to thank the Manager, the coaching and medical staff and most of all the supporters, who have supported me through my career. They have been fantastic and were a real inspiration to me when I was out injured.
"The support the fans and the staff showed me during that time was the main motivation for me making my comeback. I feel proud to have represented Manchester United for 11 years and have some very special memories.”
Sir Alex Ferguson said: “Ending your playing career is a sad day for anyone, in the case of Ole, he has 11 fantastic years he can look back on.
"Ole has achieved everything a player could ever wish to achieve. He has been a great servant to the Club and has always remained a model professional in his responsibility as a player, in his demeanour and his manners have always been exemplary. Ole will hopefully go on to be a good coach.”
David Gill said: “Ole has provided us all with some exceptional memories during his time here at the Club.
"Nobody will ever forget his dramatic winner in Barcelona, but much more than that his dedication and professionalism make him one of the great role models in football. Ole will be dearly missed as a player, but will go on to serve the Club as an Ambassador and a valuable coach.”
Supporters thank Solskjaer
With the rumours of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's retirement now confirmed, fans have flocked to the Talking Reds message board to pay their respects to one of United's most loved strikers.
Here's a selection of the comments:
E.C.: Sad news, but he is an absolute legend. I will never forget him. Thanks Ole.
Olly1990: One of the best servants United ever had. He didn't always play as much as he would have liked, but he never complained and did his job whenever he got the chance. Ole scored some crucial goals – none more so than in Barcelona. It feels as if a huge part of this club has gone.
Ad31: I cant believe we won't be seeing Ole in a United shirt again. He's been a great servant to the club and will forever be remebered! A true United legend.
Martin Molgaard: Ole has shown true dedication and fantastic loyalty towards United. He's been a true Red and he will be missed. He deserves a lot of credit and a testimonial match for sure. After all, he is the man who scored the best and most valuable United goal in the past 25 years. Thank you Ole, you've been magnificent. I really admire your loyalty.
Have your say at www.manutd.com/talkingreds
Crerand: Ole is a United great
to coach Ole!!!United legend Paddy Crerand says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer deserves to be ranked alongside the likes of Best, Law and Charlton as one of the club's true greats.
The 34-year-old striker announced his retirement from the game on Tuesday following a lengthy injury battle which has restricted his involvement in the first team over the last few years.
Like many fans, Crerand is sad to see Solskjaer's illustrious Old Trafford career come to a premature end, but the 1968 European Cup winner insists there is no chance of the man dubbed 'the baby-faced assassin' being forgotten.
"Ole is a man who is respected and loved by everyone at Old Trafford and, as far as I’m concerned, he’s up there with the likes of Law, Best and Charlton as one of the legendary figures in United’s history," Paddy told United Review.
"Of course, that goal in Barcelona in ‘99 is the one that everyone will always remember him for, but we mustn’t forget all the important goals he scored throughout his Reds’ career."
Solskjaer will remain at Old Trafford in a coaching capacity and as a club ambassador, and Crerand fully expects the Norwegian to become a successful coach.
"He's got unvaluable experience of playing at the top level and winning trophies and that will only benefit him as a coach," says Paddy. "Ole has done things for Manchester United that people only dream about. Hopefully he'll now be able to help others realise their dreams."
Blog: A true legend
As Ole Gunnar Solskjaer announces his retirement from playing, ManUtd.com's Steve Bartram gives his take on the Norwegian's sparkling Reds career...
It's safe to say you're going to see a fair few replays of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Champions League-winning goal against Bayern Munich over the coming days.
The Norwegian's instinctive flick of a boot in Barcelona ensured his place in United folklore and instantly became an iconic moment in the Reds' history.
So, now that Ole has announced his retirement from football, you can expect to relive that magical moment in the Nou Camp again and again. Which is fine. Don't get me wrong, I could watch that match on a perpetual loop and still fill up with pride every time.
One of my biggest bugbears, however, has always been that the importance of Ole's winner seems to have overshadowed what has been a glittering career.
A banner simply declaring '20LEGEND' hangs poignantly on the Stretford End second tier as a reminder not just of May 26, 1999, but of the indelible mark Ole has made on Manchester United throughout his career.
Had Jonathan Greening, for example, left the Nou Camp bench and poked a winner past Oliver Kahn, it's safe to say there wouldn't be a flag flown in his honour.
The Norwegian's legendary status was pretty much secured regardless of events in Barcelona. A gentleman off the pitch and a predator on it, Ole endeared himself to supporters with his commitment, professionalism and, of course, his goals.
"Ole is a marvellous finisher," Sir Alex once said of the lethal marksman. "The lad is one of the best finishers I have known. We have had a few good natural finishers at the club but he is exceptional."
Barcelona aside, there's the four-goal cameo at Nottingham Forest and the injury-time FA Cup winner against Liverpool - all from the Treble season - and many, many more besides if you're looking for examples.
My own personal favourite moment of Ole's career has nothing to do with his goals, however, more the moment his relationship with United fans was set in stone.
18 April, 1998. An injury-beleagured United were limping towards the finishing line of another hard-fought title race with Arsenal. By this point, while still mathematically well in the hunt to retain the trophy, the Reds were down to the bare bones and the Gunners had built up an unstoppable momentum.
Ole was thrown into the action against Newcastle with the score locked at 1-1. United were laying siege to the Magpies' goal, but just couldn't get a vital winner. With a minute remaining, such was United's commitment to attack, that one cleared corner left Magpies midfielder Rob Lee with a free run on goal from inside his own half.
Having only been on the field 10 minutes, Ole used his freshness to sprint after Lee in a nail-biting race. Should United concede, that would be the season over. The gap continued to narrow until Lee got to the edge of the United area, when Ole flung himself into an awful challenge and was, quite rightly, sent off.
In ensuring the foul was outside the box, however, he had prevented an almost certain goal and a potential penalty. In recognition, he was handed a standing ovation by the Old Trafford crowd.
It's not the proudest moment of Ole's career, I'd imagine, and he was carpeted by Sir Alex for his lack of sportsmanship after the game, but it was a deliberate self-sacrifice which laid bare his worth as a player and a man.
Tribute to a legend n relive your meomories:
Dubbed the baby-faced assassin courtesy of young looks and a ruthless ability to find the net, Ole’s clinical finishing touch was, of course, best exhibited at the climax of the 1999 Champions League final.
Deep into injury time his instinctive toe-poke from Teddy Sheringham’s flick-on beat Bayern Munich’s Oliver Kahn to complete United's extraordinary comeback from 0-1 down to complete the Treble and cement his place in United folklore (status that was well and truly in progress when he scored four goals in 12 minutes as a late sub in United's record 8-1 away win at Nottingham Forest).
Yet there was to be no greater comeback in Ole's career than the one he achieved in December 2005. His appearance as a substitite in the 2-2 draw at Birmingham City followed a gruelling 20 months of rehabilitation from a serious knee injury.
The start of the following season saw Ole make another emotional return, this time to the scoresheet. His goal in United's away win at Charlton was his first for the senior side in almost three years and he admitted afterwards: "I have been dreaming about this day and now it has finally arrived, I just feel relief."
Although primarily a squad member as opposed to a regular starter, Solskjaer made a hugely impressive contribution to the title-winning cause in 2006/07 and richly deserved his seventh Premier League winners' medal.
After netting his first of the campaign at Charlton, he followed up with further strikes against Newcastle (2) and Wigan. He also scored in the Carling Cup at Crewe and in the Champions League against Celtic in the same two-month period.
Solskjaer ended the 2006/07 season with eleven goals, the most important of which came in January 2007 at Old Trafford when, on as a late substitute, he fired a dramatic last minute winner in the FA Cup third round tie against Aston Villa.
As it turned out, Ole's last appearance for United was at the climax of the same competition but this time there would be no cup final heroics from the Norwegian substitute as Chelsea held onto their 1-0 lead in extra time.
Ole's sad decision to retire after continuing problems with his knee was announced just weeks into the 2007/08 campaign.
On 28 August 2007, the club released a press statement with warm tributes from Sir Alex Ferguson - "Ole has achieved everything a player could ever wish to achieve" - and chief executive David Gill - "Ole will be dearly missed as a player, but will go on to serve the Club as an Ambassador and a valuable coach."
Ole himself said, "I feel proud to have represented Manchester United for 11 years and have some very special memories."
United supporters also have special memories of Solskjaer in a red shirt, and will remain forever grateful.
My wall paper for now.
Last edited by melvin; 29th August 2007 at 03:45 PM.
i love this guy, man......
now who's gonna take his place??.........
There is no subsitute for this subsitute.
Dun think this time we will have another 7-1
United will face AS Roma, Sporting Lisbon and Dynamo Kiev in this season's Champions League group stage.
The Reds kick off their pursuit of the trophy on Wednesday 19 September, away to Sporting Lisbon. United will then entertain Roma in their second group game on Tuesday 2 October at Old Trafford. The Italians will be out for revenge after the Reds dumped them out of the competition at the quarter-final stage last season.
The Reds went down 2-1 in the Italian capital last April amid violent scenes on the terraces. Wayne Rooney's fine away goal then proved incidental as the Reds thumped Roma 7-1, on a night described by Sir Alex Ferguson as "the best European night in my time at the club."
Next up after the Roma clash is a trip to Dynamo Kiev on Tuesday 23 October, followed by the return leg two weeks later on Wednesday 7 November.
Sporting Lisbon - Cristiano Ronaldo's and Nani's former team - will be in town on 27 November, before the Reds' final group game on Wednesday 12 December away to Roma.
UEFA Champions League Group Stage
Group A: Liverpool, Porto, Marseille, Besiktas
Group B: Chelsea, Valencia, FC Schalke, Rosenborg
Group C: Real Madrid, Werder Bremen, Lazio, Olympiakos
Group D: AC Milan, Benfica, Celtic, Shakhtar Donetsk
Group E: FC Barcelona, Lyon, Stuttgart, Rangers
Group F: Manchester United, AS Roma, Sporting Lisbon, Dynamo Kiev
Group G: Internazionale, PSV Eindhoven, CSKA Moscow, Fenerbahce
Group H: Arsenal, Sevilla or AEK Athens, Steaua Bucharest, Slavia Prague
Last edited by melvin; 31st August 2007 at 11:01 AM.
Crerand: Dynamo most difficult
United legend Paddy Crerand, a European Cup winner in 1967/68, gives his reaction to the group stage draw for 2007/08...
I think the draw's smashing. No disrespect to the other three teams but we've not really got any of the big European sides in our group. United are capable of beating them all.
I don't think we'll beat Roma 7-1 again, that will be a much more difficult match this time. But it's a good draw. I've been to all three places before. Kiev was a long journey and we drew 0-0. I think that will be the most difficult match of the lot.
It's an amazing situation, drawing Sporting Lisbon when we've got Nani and Cristiano Ronaldo at our club.
I played against Sporting Lisbon during my time at United. We beat them 4-1 at Old Trafford when it could have been 14-1.
We all thought, 'Well that's us through.' Then they beat us 5-0 in the second leg! Our goalkeeper had an absolute nightmare that day, he let in two goals in the space of three minutes or something.
That's European football for you. You've got to treat it with the respect it deserves and not think that any game's an easy game.
Paddy Crerand was talking to MUTV's David Stowell.
As usual: Boss targets 10 points
Sir Alex Ferguson feels 10 points will be enough to see United safely through a tricky Champions League qualifying group.
The Reds are joined in Group F by Roma, Sporting Lisbon and Dynamo Kiev, and the Boss is certain that little will separate the four teams as they vie for qualification.
“It’s going to be a very tight group,” he told ManUtd.com. “I hope we can get 10 points. It’s going to be difficult, but if we get 10 points, I think we’ll qualify.”
United have been drawn against Roma just five months after crushing the Italians 8-3 on aggregate in last season’s quarter-final, which was marred by off-pitch violence before or during both games.
And with Nani and Cristiano Ronaldo - two former Sporting players – in the United ranks, together with a good knowledge of Kiev’s virtues, Sir Alex knows that his side face a tough task to emerge from the group.
“Obviously Roma will be the talking point after last season,” he said. “Dynamo Kiev are a good side and we know quite a lot about Sporting Lisbon because we have two of their former players here. The whole group poses interesting aspects.”
Youngster heads to Antwerp
Promising young Irish defender Craig Cathcart has joined Royal Antwerp on loan until January 1, 2008.
The U18s captain, who skippered United to the FA Youth Cup final last season, is the first Reds youngster of the season to embark on a temporary move to the Bosuil Stadium.
Six players made the move to Belgium last season - Fraizer Campbell, Darron Gibson, Jonny Evans, Danny Simpson, Ryan Shawcross and David Gray - but fewer players will leave Carrington on loan this term.
Sir Alex Ferguson revealed that he would be keeping a larger squad this season, and thus far only Cathcart, Shawcross (Stoke City) and Ritchie Jones (Yeovil Town) have left the club on loan.
Papers: Rooney raring to go
United Tell 'Fit' Rooney To Hold Fire
Manchester United are having to rein in Wayne Rooney's enthusiasm to make a first team return ahead of schedule. The 21-year-old England striker was ruled out for six weeks after breaking a metatarsal for the third time in his career during United's opening Premier League fixture against Reading. However, he has declared himself "fit and ready to play" to team-mates and is eager to figure as soon as possible - even believing he could return ahead of his newly-scheduled comeback at Everton on September 15. Manager Sir Alex Ferguson revealed the striker's desire to return last weekend. Ferguson said: "Rooney's fine. He's jogging and he even wanted to play against Spurs! Typical Rooney, he wanted to play with an injection. It's quite possible he'll be back in three weeks."
Simon Cass, Daily Mail
The Sun claims that, after announcing the end of his playing days, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was afforded a guard of honour by his United team-mates before Tuesday's squad photograph at Old Trafford.
Round up by Steve Bartram
Reds' Euro rivals confident
Roma coach Luciano Spalletti insists last season's drubbing at the hands of United will have no bearing on the new Champions League campaign.
The Reds hammered the Italians 7-1 at Old Trafford in April's quarter-final, second leg, sealing an 8-3 aggregate passage into the last four. But, having been drawn in Group F alongside United, Sporting Lisbon and Dynamo Kiev, Spalletti is confident of progress.
"Last season's 7-1 defeat in Manchester is the past, this is a new tournament," he said. "We will do our best knowing that we have everything that is needed to go through.
"It's a tough group but in this kind of competition you need to have great qualities whoever the opponents are and Roma have great qualities, considering what we have done so far."
United and Roma are favourites to qualify, according to Sporting coach Paulo Bento, who will renew acquaintances with former players Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani.
"Manchester United and Roma are, of course, favourites but we have to do our part to oppose that," he said. "They [Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani] are two players that we admire and they have a sentimental link to Sporting.
"It's a difficult group but in a competition like this there are no easy teams. We want to do better than we did last season and that means progress in European competitions and getting to the next phase of the Champions League."
There are no glaringly weak sides in Group F, and Dynamo Kiev coach Anatoliy Demyanenko is adamant that little will separate the four teams.
"We are in one of the toughest groups," he said. "We met both Manchester United and Roma not long ago and I believe they have grown stronger since. We are not afraid. We will try and win every match."
Gill hopeful of peaceful tie
Reds chief executive David Gill is hopeful there will be no repeat of the violence that marred United's Champions League quarter-final victory over Roma in April when the two teams meet again in this season's competition.
Thursday's group stage draw paired the Reds with the Italian side, along with Sporting Lisbon and Dynamo Kiev. United entertain Roma at Old Trafford on Tuesday 2 October, before the return leg on Wednesday 12 December.
The Reds' last visit to the Italian capital was the subject of a Home Office investigation after a number of United fans were injured after trouble erupted on the terraces.
Gill insists all parties will be working together to ensure both matches pass off peacefully and he's hopeful of a positive outcome.
"We need to learn the lessons from last season," he told MUTV. "I'm sure UEFA will be involved in the planning with ourselves and Roma, who we get on well with; we've just got to be sensible about everything.
"The appropriate advice will be given to our fans, who in our opinion were blameless for what happened back in April.
"We'll work with the relevant authorities to ensure the game is remembered for what happens on the pitch as opposed to what happens off it. Providing we all do our homework and everyone is sensible about things then everything will be okay."
The Reds fell at the last four hurdle last time out after losing out to eventual winners AC Milan. Gill says everyone at the club is aiming to go one step further this season and book their place in Moscow next May.
"We had a great run last season and we want to go one better this year and get to the final," he declared. "We've got a long trip to Kiev and of course playing Roma again so soon after last season's quarter-final will be interesting, while Sporting Lisbon is where we bought both Cristiano [Ronaldo] and Nani from.
"So it's an interesting draw and I'm sure there will be some great games over the next few months."
Blog: Wes salutes Ole
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's decision to hang up his boots after an 11-year career with the Reds was a shock for United fans everywhere when the news broke on Tuesday, but as Wes Brown reveals, it came as a big surprise to everyone in the dressing room as well...
Like everyone else we only found out on Tuesday. We knew he'd been having a few problems with his knee but we thought he'd still be okay for the rest of the season. So we were all pretty shocked.
We're really disappointed by the news especially as we needed him this season. But it's his decision and we all respect that.
Over the years he's been a great servant to the club and he's definitely up there with the greats of this club. He'll be hugely missed in the dressing room as a player. He's very down to earth and good guy to be around. I don't know anyone who has a bad word to say about him. He achieved so much in the game yet still remained the same modest guy that's he always been - that's a great example for any young footballer.
That goal in Barcelona is something no-one will ever forget, but he scored great goals throughout his career, some of the best I've ever seen. His strike rate speaks for itself and if it hadn't have been for his injuries he would have scored even more.
We're all gutted to see him finish but the good thing is he'll still be around the club. There's a lot he can bring to the club and a lot he can offer to the budding stars of the future.
Roy's not Keane on hype
Roy Keane insists his return to Old Trafford on Saturday will be just like "any other game".
Now in charge at Sunderland, Keane hastily left United in 2005 after 12 years at the club. His testimonial in May 2006 aside, supporters never had the chance to say a proper farewell and the Irishman is expected to receive a hero's welcome when he returns to Manchester to do battle with former boss Sir Alex Ferguson.
But Keane is playing down Saturday's match, despite the media hype surrounding it.
"I'm not expecting any hugs and kisses," he said. "Alex Ferguson will want to beat me and Sunderland as much as anyone else. There won't be a red carpet rolled out for me."
The Black Cats boss also had a sly dig at Sir Alex's infamous obsession with time-keeping.
"People say you have to keep it tight for the first 20 minutes in games like this – try the first 90! And it might be longer if we go by Alex Ferguson's stop-watch!"
Keane did admit he was excited by the prospect of returning to Old Trafford and giving his players a taste of football on the biggest stage.
"I'm glad to be going back and I'm glad to be taking Sunderland there. I'm glad some of my players will get the chance to play at a great stadium against a very, very good team. We will try to approach it in the same way as any other game."