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Ferguson Called Solskjaer To Apologise For Ronaldo Criticism

Ferguson Called Solskjaer To Apologise For Ronaldo Criticism
Eoin Harrington
By Eoin Harrington
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For the first time since leaving as manager in November 2021, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be back at Old Trafford on Saturday, as he will attend the Premier League clash with Wolves.

Club legend Solskjaer initially took charge of Manchester United on an interim basis after the sacking of Jose Mourinho in December 2018, before being offered a full-time contract ahead of the 2019-20 season. In his two full seasons with United, he guided the team to 3rd place and 2nd place, before things unravelled in his third season in charge.

The arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo that summer has been cited by many as the catalyst which led to things going south for Solskjaer, as the team's form hit the floor in the early months of 2021-22.

Ronaldo was reported to have upset the apple cart, and to be unpopular with many of the club's younger players and, even before his explosive departure this season under Erik Ten Hag, the Portuguese striker was responsible for a few controversial moments during his second spell with the club.

One of those came after Solskjaer had dropped Ronaldo to the bench for a Premier League game against Everton in October 2021. It was a bold call, and one which drew criticism from ex-United manager Alex Ferguson.

Ferguson was caught on camera questioning Solskjaer's decision not to play one of his "best players" in a discussion with fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov. Solskjaer revealed in an interview on Friday night that Ferguson called him in the aftermath of the incident to apologise for his comments.

Solskjaer: Fergie called ex-United boss to apologise for criticism

The scrutiny on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in his final months in charge of Manchester United was immense, and it was only amplified by the soap opera caused by Cristiano Ronaldo's return to the club.


One flashpoint saw a frustrated Ronaldo storm down the tunnel at full-time after a 1-1 draw against Everton which he had started on the bench.

The decision to drop Ronaldo to the bench after scoring four goals in his first four games back at the club was criticised privately by Alex Ferguson - though the comments were caught on video and shared to social media.

Solskjaer is back in Manchester this week, and will be in attendance when United take on Wolves on Saturday afternoon. On Friday night, an audience with the former manager was held in Manchester city centre - and Solskjaer revealed that Ferguson had called him in the aftermath of the incident to apologise for his remarks.


Solskjaer said that Ferguson appreciated the difficulty of Solskjaer's situation, and had acknowledged the comments were misplaced:

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.

Ultimately, Solskjaer would be sacked a month and a half after that Everton draw, and Saturday marks his first return to Old Trafford since his sacking.


He remains a divisive figure among the club's fans, and one can only wonder how his reign may have ended had it not been for the return of Ronaldo.

SEE ALSO: A Decade On: How Alex Ferguson's Last Speech Foreshadowed The Mess Manchester United Became

Alex Ferguson edit


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