It is the aim that defines Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s profession.
He made 366 appearances for Manchester United. He scored 126 objectives. He’s now the supervisor, given a three-year contract after a formidable three-month interval as caretaker.
However consider the Norwegian and one picture involves thoughts: his 1999 Champions League final-winning aim within the Nou Camp for United in opposition to Bayern Munich to finish a historic Treble. “And Solskjaer has gained it,” goes the commentary.
Now, 20 years on, Solskjaer’s aspect tackle Barcelona on Tuesday, 1-Zero down after the primary leg of their Champions League quarter-final however hoping for the same, iconic comeback.
“That aim has been talked about a couple of instances, sure,” the 46-year-old instructed BBC Sport.
“So many individuals have congratulated me and talked to me about that evening. They are saying ‘it was the most effective evening of my life however do not inform my spouse’ – that sort of factor.
“Funnily sufficient, I’ve by no means seen the complete sport. I did watch the 15 minutes that I truly performed as soon as. In fact, the aim I’ve in all probability seen one million instances. I do not thoughts being remembered for one thing like that.”
Solskjaer has solely been again to the Nou Camp twice since 1999. He went along with his youngest son, Elijah, as a paying fan to observe an El Clasico in opposition to Actual Madrid, whereas the second go to was a spying mission to see Barcelona’s 2-Zero defeat of Atletico Madrid on 6 April.
Nonetheless, he doesn’t count on to be distracted by nostalgia on Tuesday.
“I do not suppose so. I can be so targeted,” he stated. “I can be so concentrated.
“I’ll have my final little intestine feeling on who to play – typically you do get these hunches. In opposition to Paris St-Germain I had a staff in thoughts after I travelled within the morning, walked out into the stadium, noticed the stadium and thought: ‘No, I’ll change.’
“I can not wait.”
‘In the event you’re not the most effective, don’t sulk’ – Solskjaer’s philosophy solid on the bench
Solskjaer has reworked United’s season, dragging the membership again into the race for a top-four Premier League end with 10 wins from his first 11 video games, then overseeing that dramatic comeback in opposition to PSG within the Champions League final 16 in March.
However an FA Cup defeat by Wolves and stuttering league type have taken a few of the gloss off Solskjaer’s everlasting appointment, though they did beat West Ham 2-1 on Saturday at Outdated Trafford.
Solskjaer spoke to BBC Sport at a ladies’ soccer teaching occasion to advertise a legends Treble reunion match on 26 Could – when he’ll play below former boss Sir Alex Ferguson once more. The Outdated Trafford rematch of that well-known sport in opposition to Bayern is in help of the Manchester United Basis. Most of his team-mates from 1999 can be alongside him.
“In 1999 the supervisor instilled this starvation and humility to work arduous, to win. The tradition got here from him however he let the gamers drive it. He made us accountable for our personal performances,” added Solskjaer.
“It was about work-rate. It was about coming in on time. It was about doing all of the extras that may give you these little percentages that win you video games. They’re the issues which might be straightforward to do, but additionally very straightforward to not do. Will we go all in, or do not we?
“If you wish to play at Manchester United it’s a must to have a persona. You’ve gotten to have the ability to arise for your self in opposition to huge boys. We had been going to play in opposition to high gamers on the planet. You possibly can’t look spherical and at all times ask for assist.”
In that 1999 Champions League ultimate, Solskjaer was introduced on for Andy Cole within the 81st minute with United 1-Zero down, having trailed to Mario Basler’s free-kick because the sixth minute.
They had been nonetheless behind into injury-time when Teddy Sheringham equalised. Further time seemingly loomed just for Solskjaer to stay out his proper boot from Sheringham’s flick-on for one in every of soccer’s most iconic moments.
“I wasn’t pleased to be on the bench,” Solskjaer says, providing an perception into his managerial philosophy.
“In case you are not probably the greatest gamers, it’s a must to be selfless.
“In the event you sulk and you aren’t the most effective participant, neglect about it. I knew I wasn’t the most effective participant and I did not sulk. If anybody desires to be an everyday in my staff now, be the most effective participant. That is it. Each single day.
“Ronaldo performs. Messi performs. They’re the most effective gamers.
“You do not dwell off expertise any extra as a result of there are such a lot of good gamers round. Soccer is bettering. Athleticism, tempo, all the things. If you wish to win, it’s a must to have the most effective mentality as properly.
“It’s about creating an surroundings of world-class, elite efficiency. We can’t settle for mediocrity.”
If Solskjaer has one remorse from the Nou Camp in 1999 it’s that he did a right away post-match tv interview and missed the beginning of the celebrations.
For this charity rematch, he wonders if his remorse can be agreeing to play in any respect.
“I’m nowhere close to match,” he laughs. “The final time I attempted it each my calves went bang.
“I’m trying ahead to it, and it will likely be nice to see everybody once more – however I’m dreading it as properly.”