Manchester United appoint Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: How Norway reacted

A Norwegian broadcaster held up a placard reading "Honk if you love Solskjaer" to all vehicles heading into United's training ground Carrington on Thursday morning
A Norwegian broadcaster held up a placard reading "Honk if you love Solskjaer" to all vehicles heading into United's training ground Carrington on Thursday morning

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's appointment as Manchester United coach has made big headlines in Norway, with players, fans and even the prime minister expressing their pride.

The Norwegian Manchester United Supporters' Club has got a lot of new members and sold many extra trips to Manchester since the news broke, says official Dan Langerod.

"The biggest Norwegian football news of all time," gushed daily Dagsavisen. "A Norwegian man becomes manager in the world's most famous football club. No, not the best, but the most iconic and notorious. This is the world's largest trainer job. Nothing less."

"Manchester United doesn't need a person that stands in the way," said daily Dagbladet. "They need a friendly soul. They need someone everyone can gather around. They need someone who never thought about putting themselves or their own agenda in front of the club's. They need a legend."

On Twitter, the celebrations continued. "Solskjaer back with United - as manager! It doesn't get bigger than this", said sports commentator Oyvind Alsaker.

"We have the world's best male handball player, the world's best female football player. And now we have the manager in the world's biggest football club. Totally logical," added football player Mini Jakobsen.

"Solskjaer new manager for Man U. That's just insane!! Being a Norwegian and having the pleasure of playing with and against him, I am so proud of him! It's a great opportunity for him as a manager. This shows everything is possible with hard work! I wish him all the best," said former Liverpool and Norway player John Arne Riise.

John Arne Riise tweet

Even Norway's Prime Minister Erna Solberg joined in the celebration. "Great day for Norwegian football. Good luck keeping control of the Red Devils, @olegs26_ole," she tweeted. Leader of the opposition Jonas Gahr Store also chimed in. "Ole Gunnar Solskjaer becomes manager of Manchester United. We must all be proud! Remember the lesson you received from Sir Alex: 'Individual players score goals, teams win matches!' Important on the football field as in the community! Go Ole Gunnar!"

But drama ensued when it was revealed that Solskjaer's first match with Manchester United would not be broadcast on Norwegian TV. "It's nice that an old Liverpool supporter has got a job in Manchester," said Pal Christian Moller, chairman of Liverpool FC Supporters' Club Norway, to daily Dagbladet.

"As far as the TV match on Boxing Day is concerned, we expect TV2 to stand by their earlier decision and broadcast the Liverpool game and not Manchester United game this time.

"TV2 chose United last time. There will be plenty of protests if the same happens again." A "Solskjaer effect" is not acceptable, Moller said: "Us supporters stand behind the team, not the fact that a Norwegian has an important role."

But Langerod from the Norwegian Manchester United Supporters' Club would not let the TV war get in the way of the fandom.

"It's not about Manchester United against Liverpool, but how huge this is for Norway," he said to Dagbladet. "How much in Norwegian sports history has actually been bigger than that of a Norwegian taking over the world's biggest football club?

"Solskjaer now dominates the media scene around the world. The whole world is with him."

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