Ole Gunnar Solskjaer snubs Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi when naming the ‘greatest player ever’


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer snubbed Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi when naming the greatest player ever.

The past two decades have seen Messi and Ronaldo firmly establish themselves among the world’s greatest-ever players.

Between them, they have won every trophy available and claimed 13 Ballon d’Ors, with Messi having picked up the coveted individual award a record eight times.

However, former United manager Solskjaer snubbed both when asked to pick the greatest player of all time.

The Norwegian instead opted for Messi’s former national team manager and compatriot Diego Maradona.

Maradona was named alongside Pele as FIFA’s Player of the 20th Century after a topsy-turvy career which saw him inspire Argentina to the 1986 World Cup and claim two Serie A titles with Napoli.

“Maradona is the greatest ever player,” Solskjaer insisted to National News. “And I was lucky enough to meet him. He didn’t really speak English.

“It was at Old Trafford when I was the Cardiff manager and watched United v Liverpool. We got battered.

“Kenny Dalglish and Ian Rush were sat behind me. I put my cap down. I was with my assistant Demps [Mark Dempsey], and he said ‘There’s someone across the table who wants to speak to you’. I looked across and it was Maradona. He came across.”

Elsewhere, Solskjaer admitted he was eager to return to management, but was waiting for the right opportunity, having been sacked as United boss in November 2021.

Maradona inspired Argentina to World Cup glory in 1986 (Getty)

“It’s not that I’m looking for a job because I’m enjoying my time [off], but I’m ready for a job,” he says.

“Something that triggers you, that you fancy, that you can achieve something.

“I like working with people that share my values. I’m also coaching FC Clausenengen/Kristiansund under 16s.

“We have an important game on Wednesday. And I’m doing my Uefa stuff analysing games. I watch games all the time but it’s a nice way of keeping your head in that tactical frame.

He added: “I don’t like to sound arrogant, but when you’ve been the manager of Manchester United you’ve had the highs. You spent your life at United and made enough money – so it’s not about the money, it’s about the challenge.”

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