I have prepared to be a football manager my entire life

I have prepared to be a football manager my entire life

Virgil van Dijk might be advised to start looking for a new house. Since joining Liverpool in January last year, the defender has been renting a five-bedroom mansion in Cheshire; unfortunately for him, it is owned by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, a man very keen to make a long-term move back to the area.

“Yeah, he’s evicted,” joked the Manchester United caretaker-manager when asked if he had given notice to his high-profile tenant. However the issue is resolved, it would be a major surprise if Solskjaer’s family were not packing boxes and moving over from Norway to England this summer.

There is no doubt that the former United striker’s second crack at Premier League management is proving a much happier experience than his first, five years ago, when a stint at Cardiff brought relegation and the sack within nine months. Wednesday’s astonishing comeback to knock Paris Saint-Germain out of the Champions League was Solskjaer’s 14th victory in 17 matches since replacing Jose Mourinho in December. Officially, the Norwegian still only has a contract until June; surely that will be extended for a man who believes he was always destined to manage.

He said: “I think I have prepared all my life for this [management]. Ever since I was a kid, when I played computer games, I wrote out all the teams with my mates. They were good old times when I used to sign Zico, Maradona and Marco van Basten.

“I think I have secretly always wanted to do the job I am doing now. I probably believe more that I can be a football coach than a football player. It took me quite a few years to get to the level I wanted to be at as a player.”

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