Former Manchester United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed how he “ruined” his own Champions League Final experience by scoring the injury-time winner in the 1999 showpiece against Bayern Munich.
The Red Devils’ famous super-sub and ex-reserve team boss came on as an 81st-minute replacement for Andy Cole at Barcelona’s Nou Camp stadium and memorably stuck out a toe to ensure United captured the European crown for the first time since 1968.
The Old Trafford outfit return to the scene of their debut European triumph – Wembley – on Saturday to take on Barcelona in a repeat of the 2008 Champions League Final.
And Solskjaer has admitted that, having been stuck on the bench for most of the evening, he had been looking forward to the experience of playing the additional 30 minutes of extra-time against Bayern following Teddy Sheringham’s late leveller, only to “ruin” it by scoring the winner moments later!
“When Teddy Sheringham equalised in injury-time I thought: ‘Fantastic, I’ll play 30 minutes of extra-time and it’ll be a great experience for me. Then I went and ruined it by scoring,” he says in the official programme for the 2011 Champions League Final.
“It was just a quick ‘Get on’ - no warning. When you come on and play on instinct, that’s when you play your best football. I felt I got into the game straight away and there were spaces and gaps because they had taken Lothar Matthäus off.”
The ‘Baby-Faced Assassin’ added that he cannot remember actually scoring the goal that secured the trophy – and the treble – for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side.
“I’ve seen my goal so many times but I can’t recall doing it,” he says. “I usually remember my goals as most of them were practised, but that one was just instinct. I stuck out my toe and guided it in - 99 times out of 100 I’d probably have skied it over the bar.”comments