After almost a decade and a half at United, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has now left to rejoin his first club, FK Molde, as first team manager. ManUtd.com caught up with Ole earlier this week for an in-depth chat…
How does it feel to be leaving?
It’s dawning on me that I’m actually going. It’s been a bit strange. Every time I do something it’s the last time I’ll be doing it. It’s dawning now that the family is leaving. My wife and I are going home, but the kids are moving away from home. They’ve lived their lives here. We’re all excited though. If we weren’t then we wouldn’t have done it. For me, work-wise, it’s a good step to get some responsibility and make my own mistakes, and as a family we had to do it now to see if we’re still Norwegian or if we’re totally anglicised!
Will you get any time to relax before you start at Molde?
We’re going for a couple of weeks away in warmer weather before I start. I’ll be back in Norway on the 3rd of January and on the 10th of January I start work. I have a week’s preparation – which will be spent unpacking boxes, probably. When you come over with one suitcase and you leave with a five-bedroom house, it’s unbelievable how much stuff you pick up along the way that you wish you’d thrown out!
Has it been strange to say your goodbyes over such a long period?
(Pauses) I should have done a Cantona! I’m not a goodbye person, really. It feels like that makes it even sadder.
But do you appreciate there was an importance behind your farewell to the fans on Monday evening; that they be given a chance to say goodbye?
Yeah, I understand that and it was special for me too. You don’t really realise how much you appreciate people. I’m happy the club put something on for me – they’ve been really amazing. They’ve really looked after me from day one and they’ve put me on show, if you like, three times now. I think this time it’s to make sure I go – third time lucky! ‘Alright Ole, this time you’re really going!’
Does a day go by when you don’t get stopped by a United supporter?
I’m sure there are days when I’ve gone straight home after training and stayed in! But you do meet people all the time. There must have been a few million people in the Nou Camp because I’ve met so many who tell me they were there. It’s brilliant. I wouldn’t be without it. It’s been amazing, that part of it. I know I’ve been a big part in their lives when they say ‘the best night of my life was because of you.’ I’ve also had someone tell me they got divorced because of me - ‘I didn’t come home from Barcelona’ and all that. There have been plenty of stories from that night.
In terms of popularity, you've got a similar standing as all-time