Ole Solskjaer says an Europa League win for Manchester United will be better on the long-run, compared to the present look of ‘success’.
For a lot of obvious reasons, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be eagerly waiting for the 26th of May, when Manchester United take on Villarreal in the Europa League final.
For starters, a triumph on that occasion would hand the Norwegian his first major trophy as United manager and his first-ever form of silverware as manager of the club. However, the 48-year-old is more focused on how such a win could help the Red Devils improve as a unit moving forward.
To buttress his point, Solskjaer referenced the Champions League final in 1999 where he scored the winning goal in a comeback 2-1 victory over Bayern Munich.
“When we won in 1999, of course it made history but it didn’t make me a better player,” said the Norwegian as per the club’s website.
“It didn’t make us individually better players but as a group we believed we could go on to win more stuff. We comfortably won the league in the next couple of seasons. We couldn’t repeat the Champions League success but still it gives you a lot as a group.
“Time will tell what it will do to the team [if we win the Europa League]. Trophies can hide other facts.”
After losing four semi-finals in a row, Solskjaer finally broke the duck and is now looking forward to managing United in an European final, having featured in a couple himself.
“We’ve done it the hard way, losing four semi-finals,” he added.
“We’ve felt we’ve come a long way. Now we’re in a final and I think we’re ready for the next step.
“Manchester United has meant a lot to me throughout my life as well. Of course, to be able to lead the team out in a final is going to be a proud moment for me. It’s going to be great to see the players we have worked with for two-and-a-half years now and we’ve taken the step into a final after the near misses we’ve had.
“But to get to a final is one thing. When you get to a final you need to win it, or you want to win it. You don’t get a prize for attending. We’re all focused and I can’t wait to see the players walk out on that pitch.”
Solskjaer and company will fancy themselves as favorites but the game might turn out to be a rather open encounter. Not to forget that they come against a Villarreal side managed by an Europa League specialist in Unai Emery.