“It was the best night of my life.”
United coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer returns to Camp Nou with his team on Tuesday evening. The place where he made history in 1999. Back then, the Red Devils had their back to the wall – just like now.
It was probably the most legendary stoppage time in football history. In the 1999 Champions League final, FC Bayern led 1-0 thanks to Mario Basler’s early free-kick goal – and it looked as if the Munich side were going to take the lead over time. But then everything changed. In the first minutes of injury time, Teddy Sheringham equalised and sent the match into extra time. But then the 81st minute substitute Solskjaer came in, stood correctly in the penalty area, put his foot down and pushed the ball over the line to 2-1 for United (90.+3).
The faces of Oliver Kahn & Co. could hardly have been longer, because in the end the English took the pot with the handles. “The goal was mentioned a few times, yes,” Solskjear reported with a wink in a conversation with the BBC. Knowing full well that he had written football history with his goal. “So many people congratulated me that night. They told me: ‘It was the best night of my life, but don’t tell my wife’, the attacker told me almost 20 years later.
The player who played 366 games for the Red Devils and scored the most important of his 126 goals for the club that night at Camp Nou will be associated with this game forever. Solskjaer never watched the entire match, just the minutes he stood on the grass. “Of course, I must have seen the goal a million times. I don’t mind being reminded of something like that over and over again,” the Red Devils coach reported.
United 0:1 back – encouragement from Paris
He has been back to Camp Nou twice since that evening, but in no official capacity. Solskjaer once looked at the Clasico between Barcelona and Real, the other time he was in Spain 2-0 against Atletico at the beginning of April to see Barça in front of the United duels. On Tuesday evening, he returns to the Catalan venue again, this time he and his team will have to turn the 0-1 from the first leg, a result he is well aware of. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s great moment is when he holds his foot – and scores to the decisive 2-1.
The great moment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: He stalls the foot – and scores to the decisive 2:1.