EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS

Tour 2012
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Sunday 5 August
Valerenga v United
Ullevaal Stadium, Oslo

08/05/2012 08:57, Report by Nick Coppack
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Oslo game delights Ronny

On Monday afternoon, Manchester United announced plans to play Norwegian side Valerenga in Oslo on Sunday 5 August.

Ronny Johnsen won silverware with both clubs and spoke exclusively to ManUtd.com's Nick Coppack about the support the Reds enjoy in Scandinavia.

Ronny, what does this announcement mean for fans in Norway?
It’s fantastic news. The Scandinavian Supporters’ Club is by far the biggest in the world and United is by far the best supported club in Norway. I know this is big, big news for fans in this part of the world. There are so many United fans in Norway. It’s good news for everybody.

Normally it's Norwegians coming to Old Trafford. Now United are going to them...
That's right. Every time United play at home a lot of Norwegian fans travel to Manchester. There are even some Season Ticket holders from Norway. That shows you what this club means to them. It’s really nice that now United are coming to them. I think they’ll all feel really proud. United’s a massive club in Norway and these fans are real die-hards. Every day they follow what’s going on via the internet or on their phones and, as often as they can, they get to Old Trafford. It’s only an hour-and-a-half away on a plane, so it’s not too difficult to get there, but I know they’ll really appreciate United coming to them. It makes a nice change!

What can you tell us about this summer's opponents, Valerenga?
Valerenga is the club I went back to once I left the Premier League and I won the Norwegian league title with them in 2005. I’m very happy for them because they have the best fans in Norway – they really deserve a big day like this. I’m really happy for the Klanen, which is the name of the main supporters group. It’s going to be a very big game and they’ll have no problem filling the stadium for this match.

Of course, it's not the first time the two clubs have met in a summer friendly. You took part in one back in 1998...
Yeah, I did! I remember that game very well. We drew 2-2. It’s just great for United to be back in Norway playing again. It will be nice for the players to go there, too. Sometimes pre-season games are very hot and humid but it won’t be too warm at that time of the year.

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