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‘I enjoyed’ – Man Utd legend names one of his ‘best teammates ever’ as he became close friends with him at Old Trafford

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Manchester United legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted that he became close friends with two of his former teammates during his illustrious time at Old Trafford.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer forever etched his name in Manchester United folklore after his sensational impact at the Red Devils under former manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

The 51-year-old Norwegian arrived at Old Trafford in 1996 after he left Molde, with the Red Devils paying a £1.5m fee to sign Solskjaer from the Norway-based club.

Solskjaer, who later became United manager, scored an impressive 126 times in 366 appearances for the Red Devils, despite not being a regular starter at the club.

The United legend had to fight for regular playing time during the 1990s in a stacked team featuring the likes of Dwight Yorke, Andy Cole and Teddy Sheringham.

But Solskjaer made a name for himself as an impact substitute and proved invaluable to Sir Alex Ferguson, including in the Champions League final in 1999.

The former United star came off the bench and scored a famous injury-time winner against Bayern Munich to seal the Red Devils’ iconic comeback win at the Camp Nou.

Solskjaer’s impressive silverware haul included six Premier Leagues, a Champions League and two FA Cups, with the United legend retiring from football in 2007.


READ MORE: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer claims one Man Utd star handles ‘pressure’ in same way as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi

UEFA Champions League

Photo by VI Images via Getty Images

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who has been out of management since 2021, recalled his time at Manchester United and how he struck up two friendships at Old Trafford.

One of those friendships was with Jordi Cruyff, who arrived at United in 1996 after leaving La Liga side Barcelona for a transfer fee of £1.4m.

Solskjaer’s other close friend at Old Trafford was none other than fellow United legend Eric Cantona, who had a sensational impact at the club in the 1990s.

Eric Cantona, who was United captain, was a key figure in Sir Alex Ferguson’s teams of the past and had a remarkable playing spell at the Premier League club.

One of United’s legendary No 7s, the 57-year-old Frenchman lifted four Premier League titles and two FA Cups at Old Trafford after leaving Leeds United in 1992.

However, Cantona stunned the world in 1997 when he announced his sudden retirement at the age of 30, with the United legend bowing out of Old Trafford.

Solskjaer admitted that he had no idea that Cantona was about to hang up his football boots in 1997, despite being close pals with him at Old Trafford.

“Eric and I – plus Jordi Cruyff – became friends,” he told FourFourTwo magazine.

“We had a party at the end of my first season. We went to a restaurant, partied hard and said goodbye with our wives and girlfriends.

“The next day, we went to London and heard on the radio that Eric Cantona had retired. We’d only said goodbye at 4am that day – that was what Eric was like.

“He was about to shock football and he didn’t say a word to his mates the night before.

“It was sad for us all, but I enjoyed one year playing with one of the best teammates ever.”

Solskjaer on Cantona in Man Utd dressing room

Cantona became United captain in 1996 after fellow legend Steve Bruce left Old Trafford and was widely admired by his former Red Devils teammates.

Solskjaer admitted that everyone at United “looked up” to Cantona and the former France international would “set the mood” with his presence in the dressing room.

“We had a great dressing room,” he said.

“We challenged each other, we loved each other, we fought with each other in the dressing room because we needed to win. We had some fiery characters.

“David May was the joker, Paul Scholes was the silent assassin, sat there at the back throwing comments. Giggsy was the entertainer.

“Eric Cantona set the mood. When he came into the dressing room, everyone just sat down and looked at him. Everyone looked up to him.”

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