Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer spoke before last night’s defeat to Villarreal about the significance of the number 26 for himself and the club.
The Norwegian tactician insisted he’s not a very superstitious person, but he responded to questions about the date of last night’s Europa League final falling on the same day as Man Utd’s famous Champions League final victory over Bayern Munich back in 1999.
Solskjaer then added that the number 26 was also personally significant to him because that’s his wife’s birthday, and the day they got married.
As quoted by the Guardian, he said: “I think it will be a good omen for us but the players need to do their job. Maybe we can honour Sir Matt’s birthday with another win.
“My wife’s birthday is on the 26th, we got married on the 26th, so I have to believe in destiny, or skjebne [in Norwegian]. It’s a special number for us, for my family as well. I’m not very superstitious but it looks like a good sign.”
In the end, however, it was Solskjaer’s questionable decision to leave out Dean Henderson – who wears number 26 for United – that looked to make a big difference on the night.
The Red Devils boss opted for David de Gea in goal instead, but the Spaniard failed to save a single one of Villarreal’s eleven penalties in the shoot-out, before then missing the crucial spot-kick at the end.
Solskjaer might not have been particularly superstitious before the game, but you have to wonder if he will be now…