‘He knows how difficult it is’: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reveals Sir Alex Ferguson called him and apologised after he was caught on camera criticising the Norwegian manager’s decision to bench Cristiano Ronaldo
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed how Sir Alex Ferguson apologised after he was caught on camera criticising the Norwegian manager’s decision to bench Cristiano Ronaldo for Manchester United’s draw with Everton in 2021.
Ronaldo was surprisingly named as a substitute for United’s clash with the Toffees despite the fact he had scored five goals in six games following his return to Old Trafford earlier in the year.
Ronaldo was brought on after 57 minutes but that didn’t stop Ferguson from condemning Solskjaer’s tactical decision while talking to UFC legend Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Ferguson was seen speaking to the Dagestani fighter after the Old Trafford match and when the topic of the game came up, the Scot said: ‘But I also think that when they (Everton) saw that Ronaldo wasn’t playing, it was a bit…’
Khabib replied: ‘He came on in the second half…’ – but Ferguson interrupted the UFC legend and stated: ‘I know, but you should always start with your best players.’
Ex-United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed how Alex Ferguson apologised to him
Ferguson was caught on camera criticising Solskjaer’s decision to bench Cristiano Ronaldo
Ferguson’s comments went viral and Solskjaer was forced to defend his decision to bench Ronaldo in his post-match interview – saying: ‘You make decisions throughout a long, long season and you’ve got to manage the players’ workload. The decision was, for me, the correct one today’.
Solskjaer has now revealed that Ferguson rang him shortly after the video was posted on social media and apologised for his comments – claiming he knew how ‘difficult it was’.
Solskjaer told The Athletic: ‘That’s the one time Sir Alex has ever apologised to me. He was caught on a video saying, “You should always play your best players,” after Ronaldo started on the bench for one game.
‘He (Ferguson) rang me and apologised because he knows how difficult it is.’
Solskjaer was sacked from his role as the Manchester United in November 2021 after the club’s 4-1 defeat to Watford continued a catastrophic run of results.
He had lost seven of his last 13 games in charge, forcing the club to take action and relieve him of his duties.
A club statement read: ‘Manchester United announces that Ole Gunar Solskjaer has left his role as manager.
‘Ole will always be a legend at Manchester United and it is with regret that we have reached this difficult decision.
‘While the past few weeks have been disappointing, they should not obscure all the work he has done over the past three years to rebuild the foundations for long-term success.
Ferguson was seen speaking to Khabib Nurmagomedov after the draw with Everton in 2021
‘Ole leaves with our sincerest thanks for his tireless efforts as manager and our very best wishes for the future.
‘His place in the club’s history will always be secure, not just for his story as a player, but as a great man and a manager who gave us many great moments.
‘He will forever be welcome back at Old Trafford as part of the Manchester United family.
‘Michael Carrick will now take charge of the team for forthcoming games, while the club looks to appoint an interim manager to the end of the season.’