Roy Keane and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

What is Keano still mithering Ole about?

Thursday 29 July 2021 14:00

At the end of our extensive chat with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to mark the 25th anniversary of his arrival at Manchester United, the boss was asked a simple question.

If he could go back in time and speak to himself, what would he say? Was there anything in his career that he would do differently?

One particular moment did come to mind, a miss that still haunts the Norwegian to this day. And he tells us that Roy Keane never lets him forget it, every time he bumps into his former captain.

The moment Solskjaer still rues Video

The moment Solskjaer still rues

Ole tell us he is still haunted by this miss in the 2002 Champions League semi-final...

Back in 2002, a romantic plan for Sir Alex Ferguson to take his stylish team all the way to the Champions League final in his native Glasgow looked firmly on course.

The Reds drew Bayer Leverkusen in the semi-finals but were held 2-2 in the first leg at Old Trafford. Although Keane opened the scoring in the return leg in Germany, Oliver Neuville equalised and Sir Alex's men missed several chances to avoid defeat on the away-goals rule.

One of those fell to the usually reliable Solskjaer, who admits he is still bothered by the fact that he did not find the net.

"Well, when I look at some of those dodgy hairstyles, I would say: 'Cut your hair more often!'" was Solskjaer's initial response.

“But no, I’ve said it before in the interview, I don’t really look back, I don’t regret. You make decisions and you just have to deal with the consequences, so I’d probably say just be yourself again… I’m sat here, aren’t I? And I wouldn’t be any other place at the moment.

“So, I’d probably just do the same again… except score a goal against Bayer Leverkusen in 2002! That chance… about 10 minutes before full-time… that’s the moment in my career that I’ve thought about the most, that miss.

Sir Alex Ferguson's dream of a European final in Glasgow was ended in Leverkusen.

“Ask Roy Keane as well… he keeps mithering me every time we talk to each other. He reminds me of that chance but I just reply that for me it’s a good chance, but for him there was absolutely no chance he would have scored that or any other… but that bothers me, that chance.

“We drew 2-2 at home, and we would have gone to the final in Glasgow. And we would have won it as well."

For the record, Real Madrid lifted the trophy with Zinedine Zidane's volleyed winner earning a 2-1 triumph in the final at Hampden Park.

United drew Leverkusen later that year, in the group stages of the following season's Champions League, and won both home and away.

The full interview with Ole will be dropping on and the Official App at 17:00 BST on Thursday.