Former Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has announced his return to football, taking on a new role as a UEFA technical observer. However, the 50-year-old Norwegian remains eager to resume his managerial career.
Solskjaer was relieved of his duties at Manchester United in November 2021 and has maintained a low profile ever since. Despite being a legend at Old Trafford, he has previously hinted at his willingness to return to the managerial hot seat and even declined an offer to coach the Norway Women’s football team.
Following his initial return to the football scene, Solskjaer has opted for a different path. His new role with UEFA will involve attending Champions League matches in person during the upcoming months.
In an interview with The Athletic, Solskjaer shared, “I’m actively involved in coaching, working with teams four times a week, including three youth teams. I enjoy helping these young players. It offers a different perspective on football, especially at the grassroots level. Although it’s all artificial turf here, you can see the enthusiasm in their eyes. They listen, they want to learn.”
“However, when you watch the professional games, whether in the stadium or on TV, you start to miss that part. Since leaving Manchester United, I’ve traveled as a fan with my children to various places like Naples, Milan, and Dortmund to witness these games. We thoroughly enjoyed those experiences.”
Solskjaer’s UEFA role allows him to watch Champions League matches in person, offering him a unique perspective: “I can analyze teams from a different standpoint compared to being a manager. I can assess their strategies, solve problems, and observe how both teams aim to exploit each other.”
He also mentioned his upcoming trip to the eastern United States, where he plans to watch games involving Wayne Rooney and David Beckham and gain insights into the football scene.
Despite his desire to return to management, Solskjaer is yet to receive the right offer. He disclosed that he recently turned down two lucrative offers from Saudi Arabia but remains open to managing abroad.
Solskjaer added, “I have received managerial offers. Most recently, two from Saudi Arabia. My best friend, who also serves as my agent, reviews these offers. When you’ve managed Manchester United, you have specific criteria for your next role.”
“While I have a deep affection for England and the Premier League, I don’t feel confined to England. Perhaps I’ll seek a different challenge where I can immerse myself in a new culture and learn a new language.”
“The club’s DNA and identity are crucial, and I need to be at a club where I can be the best version of myself. It must be a compatible match. Maybe I made a misjudgment when I went to Cardiff, for instance, where there was a clash of identities and styles.”
“What I miss most is collaborating with great people, coming in every day, discussing football, and devising strategies for the next match. It’s not just about formations but also about creating a positive work environment where the staff enjoy their roles and collaborate in building a successful team.”