Sat Oct 22 23:50:18 SAST 2016

United striker calls time on career

By unknown | Aug 29, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Manchester United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has decided to retire from football, according to his father.

Manchester United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has decided to retire from football, according to his father.

The 34-year-old, who scored the winner in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich in 1999, has been battling knee injuries for four years.

"He would have liked to stay on and was hoping for a 100 percent recovery," said the player's father, Oyvind Solskjaer.

"But something has happened with his knee which made it impossible for him to continue."

Solskjaer joined United from Molde for £1,5 million in 1996 and the former Norway international has made 366 appearances for United, scoring 126 goals. He also collected six league championship and two FA Cup medals with the club.

Solskjaer scored 11 goals as the Red Devils reclaimed their Premier League crown last season. His last game for Sir Alex Ferguson' s side was the FA Cup final defeat to Chelsea on May 19 when he came on as an extra-time substitute at Wembley.

He has already spent time at United coaching young players and was appointed a club ambassador last year.

The retirement of Solskjaer leaves Ferguson with only three strikers - Wayne Rooney, Louis Saha and Carlos Tevez - the latter being the only one fully fit.

Ferguson has been linked with a move for Bolton's Nicolas Anelka and Spurs striker Dimitar Berbatov, though the latter has insisted his immediate future lies at White Hart Lane.

United have sold fellow strikers Alan Smith to Newcastle and Giuseppe Rossi to Villarreal.

Tevez has also been included in Argentina's squad for the friendly against Australia in Melbourne next month, which could further stretch Ferguson's resources.

Saha, whose United career has been dogged by injury, had hoped to make his return against Spurs at the weekend but his comeback was aborted. He is expected to be fit to face Sunderland at the weekend, but his persistent knee problems have proved a major cause for concern.

Solskjaer returned to fitness last term, and was hopeful of playing a meaningful role this season, despite minor knee surgery in June. But he has had problems in his rehabilitation and recently admitted he expected this to be his last season.

Now the announcement that one of Old Trafford's favourites is quitting the game has been brought forward. - BBC


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