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 greats like Cantona and Keane - how big a deal is that for you?
I don’t rate myself with them, but I am really proud that the supporters have liked what I’ve done. I take it as a compliment, of course. If you say Keane, Cantona… I’ve been privileged to play with the best players. Beckham, Scholesy, Giggsy, Keane, Cantona, Gary Neville… I’ve played with the best players in the history of the club, so I’m really proud.
Will you miss anything about Manchester?
Absolutely. I realised when I drove the kids to school, or went into Wilmslow or Manchester, that it wouldn’t be a part of my life anymore. But I’m keeping my house here. It’s only just finished – it’s taken three years! Sod’s law, isn’t it? But you never know what will happen. I am ambitious, so if I’m successful in the Norwegian Premier League a club over here might try me. At some stage I would like to come back.
Will you take any aspects of English life with you?
We’ll take a lot with us. It’s the little treats like mince pies. That’s what we missed about Norway – the little details. That’s what we’ll miss about Manchester. We’ll miss our friends, big time. We really made some great friends outside football as well, and we’ll miss them. You realise that you’re leaving them for good in the sense of being neighbours and everyday friends, but we’ll see them again. I have to say, the English people are such polite, open people. So friendly and well-mannered and we’ll bring some of that back with us to Norway.