Mon, 01 Jun 2009

Adored in Asia - Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

ENGLAND -A veteran of previous pre-season tours, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer knows the Reds will create a stir in the Far East this summer... 

When United announce these tours, does it remind you how big the club is? 
Yes, it does. We always have great support in Asia and every time I’ve been on a pre-season tour, it’s been chaos! But it's a fantastic experience – you feel like you are the centre of attention all the time. There's no rest, but you feel that the fans out there appreciate the way you play football. 

So do the players enjoy the adulation they receive in Asia? 
Of course – it's like nowhere else in the world. Sometimes they'll need to concentrate on their training for the season ahead, but just to see how big the club is and how wide the fanbase is over there is something special. 

There's a lot of travelling involved... wouldn't it be easier if pre-seasons were closer to home? 
If it were just about playing a couple of games to get physically prepared, then you could argue that. But it’s about more than that – United fans around the world should be able to see their idols, and it’s also a great experience for everyone connected to the club. 

Can other Asian players succeed at Old Trafford, as Ji-sung Park has done? 
Definitely, why not? Ji has been a fantastic example to everyone. I also made a name for myself and I’m from Kristiansund, a small city in Norway, so there’s no reason why Asian players shouldn’t make it here. The coaching over there is very good, so it’s just down to the individual player's determination and attitude towards football. 

[This article is also available at Manchester United Official Website.]

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