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 Ole Gunnar SOLSKJÆR 1998-2002 
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Joined: Sun Mar 10, 2013 5:29 pm
Posts: 886
Updated version of the original stats by Adhitz-Zetsu

Name: Ole Gunnar Solskjær

Nickname: The Babby Face Assassin


Country: :NOR: Norway
Club: Manchester United
Position: *CF, SS
Side: RF/BS
Age: 25-29 years (26/02/1973)

Height: 176 cm
Weight: 74 kg

Attack: 89
Defence: 44
Balance: 81
Stamina: 82
Top Speed: 83
Acceleration: 85
Response: 91
Agility: 82
Dribble Accuracy: 83
Dribble Speed: 82
Short Pass Accuracy: 77
Short Pass Speed: 78
Long Pass Accuracy: 79
Long Pass Speed: 78
Shot Accuracy: 89
Shot Power: 84
Shot Technique: 88
Free Kick Accuracy: 70
Curling: 76
Header: 81
Jump: 83
Technique: 85
Aggression: 88
Mentality: 82
Goalkeeper Skills: 50
Team Work: 80

Injury Tolerance: C
Condition/Fitness: 6
Weak Foot Accuracy: 7
Weak Foot frequency: 7
Consistency: 7
Growht Type: Standard/Lasting

P15: Goal Poacher
S01: Reaction
S03: 1 on 1 Finish
S21: Super Sub

SPECIAL ABILITIES: Positioning - Reaction - Scoring - 1 on 1 Scoring - Lines

Attack/Defence Awareness Card: Attack Minded


A goal poacher of the highest order, Ole Gunnar Solskjær is probably Norway's most famous footballer of all time thanks to his achievements at Manchester United. However, he was a late starter in the professional game, and did not make his debut in the Norwegian top division until he was 22. Solskjær began his career in the lower divisions with Clausenengen in his hometown of Kristiansund. But despite playing in the second division, his goalscoring talents didn't go unnoticed. He played for the Norway U21's while still at Clausenengen, and when he joined Molde before the start of the 1995 season, he made an immediate impact.

At Molde, Solskjær walked straight into the team, scored on his debut, and proved he could be a prolific goalscorer at the highest level of Norwegian football. He scored 20 goals in his debut season, second only to Rosenborg's Harald Brattbakk, as Molde finished in a surprise second-place in Tippeligaen. And by the end of the season, Solskjær got the call to play for the senior national team when he was named in the squad for Norway's Caribbean tour. He didn't disappoint, scoring on his international debut.

Solskjær continued where he left off in 1996, pouring in goals for Molde, and establishing himself in the national team. His brightest moment that year came in the World Cup qualifier against Azerbaijan. With scouts from all over Europe looking at the Molde hitman, he scored twice in the 5-0 rout, and if he wasn't Norwegian football's hottest property before the match, he most certainly was at the end of the game. And in July that year, he was signed by Manchester United for a £1.5 million transfer fee.

Initially, some pundits feared that the move to Old Trafford might be a mistake - that he moved to a club with so much attacking talent that he would end up languishing in the reserves for years, just like Frank Strandli had done at Leeds a few years earlier. However, Solskjær was both patient and up to the challenge when he finally got his chance in September that year. Once again, he scored on his debut after entering the game as a substitute, and though he didn't immediately become United's first-choice striker, he established himself as a vital team member and "super sub" at Old Trafford, scoring 17 goals in his first season at the club.

Ironically, Solskjær's success at Old Trafford and the ensuing media hype didn't earn him more playing time for the national team. Egil "Drillo" Olsen continued his policy of playing with a lone striker, and preferred Tore André Flo ahead of Solskjær. When he was picked for the national team's starting lineup, Solskjær was usually played out of position on the wing. He did get back in favour in time before the 1998 World Cup, though, and appeared in three games at the tournament, once again out of position on the left flank.

Despite his goalscoring record, Solskjær was still not playing regularly for Manchester United, and had been linked to other Premiership clubs on numerous occations. However, he remained loyal to the club despite playing second fiddle to Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke, and despite the fact that United had reportedly agreed a fee with Tottenham. And on 26 May 1999, he would write his name into the history books of the Old Trafford side, when he scored the winning goal in the Champions League final against Bayern München two minutes into injury time, to ensure that Manchester United won a historic treble. This coincided with a good run of form for the national team, where his goals helped Norway reach the European Championship for the first time ever.

Solskjær played in every match at Euro 2000, but failed to find the net, still playing out of position at the wing. He continued to score regularly for Manchester United, though, and by the end of the 2000/01 season, he was finally first-choice striker for the team. He also became first-choice up front for Norway, thanks to Flo's loss of form. Solskjær also became vice captain of Norway at this time. In 2001/02, Solskjær was in the peak of his career, scoring 25 goals for Manchester United. Unfortunately, his success at club level did not translate to the national team, as Norway failed to qualify for the 2002 World Cup.

By 2004, Solskjær was becoming increasingly bothered by a persistent ankle injury. He underwent surgery in the summer of 2004, missed the entire 2004/05 season, and only played sparingly in 2005/06. Alex Ferguson wanted him to quit international football because of his injury problems, but Solskjær did not wish to turn his back on his country, especially with his former coach at Molde, Åge Hareide, having been appointed Norway manager. After two years out, Solskjær showed his brilliance upon his return with two goals against Hungary in a 2006 European Championship qualifier. However, this proved to be his international swansong. He played three more internationals, his last against Croatia in February 2007, but the injuries continued to bother him, and in August 2007, Solskjær announced his retirement from football.

Solskjær is remembered as a legend at Manchester United, not only because of his goalscoring ability, or because he scored the winner against Bayern München - but also because of his great loyalty to the club. In eleven years at Old Trafford, Solskjær played 367 games for the Red Devils, and scored 128 goals. He won the English Premiership six times, the FA Cup twice and, of course, the 1999 Champions League. Furthermore, his 23 international goals puts him in joint second-place behind Harald Hennum on Norway's post-war goalscoring list. He still lives in Manchester, and is currently Manchester United's reserve team manager.

Thu Jul 10, 2014 11:27 am
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