Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
“We have a saying in Norway: there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing,” Ole Gunnar Solskjaer chuckles as
shivers pitchside at Molde’s smart Aker Stadion, an arena his $3 million transfer to Manchester United helped build. It’s just above freezing and snow is on the ground in this tiny city of 25,000 people on the banks of the Romsdalsfjord, where the blizzards are followed by brief periods of bright sunshine, allowing stunning vistas of the 222 peaks of the surrounding mountains. Solskjaer grew up a few miles away at the other end of the treacherous Atlantic Road in Kristiansund, but it’s in Molde where arguably the greatest super-sub of all time forged his reputation as a player and manager. If his ill-fated period as Cardiff City boss left him pining for the fjords, the 43-year-old appears reinvigorated by his return for a second spell in charge of Molde. In fact, he’s positively beaming when we arrive. “I’ve always read FourFourTwo,” he says, explaining how he bought the magazine even before he moved to England in 1996. A lot has happened in the 20 years since…
James, via email
Below League, I knew I looked young, but I could still be a devil – if I had to hit a player’s ankle in a tackle, I hit his ankle. Were there any benefits when I was younger? None at all. I remember on one family holiday to Majorca you had to be either 15 years of age or above 140cm to go on this slide. I was over 15 but they still wouldn’t let me go on the slide! I was tiny at that age. I was a very late developer – I only really started developing when I was 20 or 21. Then I moved from my local team, Clausenengen, to Molde and my career took off.
Is it true that your dad was a champion Greco-Roman wrestler? Did you wrestle?