Can 26 be Solskjaer's lucky number?

Tuesday 25 May 2021 10:55

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hopes the number 26 is a lucky omen for him as we approach Wednesday’s Europa League final with Villarreal.

The Reds boss famously decided the Champions League final on 26 May 1999 by prodding home the dramatic injury-time winner against Bayern Munich, at the Nou Camp, to complete an unprecedented Treble.

It remains one of the most iconic moments in the club's entire history.

How we reached the Europa League final Video

How we reached the Europa League final

Retrace the steps along the road to Wednesday's big game in Gdansk...

That victory came, of course, on Sir Matt Busby’s birthday and the number 26 has always been special for the Norwegian. “My wife’s birthday is on the 26th,” he told “We got married on the 26th so I have to believe in destiny or skjebne [the Norwegian word]. It’s a special number for us, for my family as well.

“I’ve got to take this as a good omen. I am not very superstitious but it looks like a good sign.”

Ole is very calm approaching his first final as Reds manager and remains determined to steer the club back to the top. With Sir Alex Ferguson also on the trip, he appreciates what is required, not only on the night in Gdansk, but also going forward into next season and beyond.

“I'm not one to think about how proud I am,” he admitted. “But, of course, it's going to be a special moment. You've got to be proud to be able to lead a Manchester United team out to a final. It's been a fantastic journey and, as we say in Norwegian, veien er malet [the goal is the journey]. You've got to enjoy the journey.

“This is just a step on the road to bringing our Man. United back. If you can win a trophy, fantastic, but, either way, I've really enjoyed it. I'm going to enjoy the night, but when the night is over, you sit back down, you travel back to Norway for a summer holiday and the mind has to switch to next season again. That’s just how it is.”