Ola Solbakken was called by Jose Mourinho personally

Ola Solbakken is sitting at the airport in Amsterdam on her way to a well-deserved holiday in Mexico with her partner.

He has been a Roma professional for just over a day when we finally get hold of him.

It has been a hectic few days.

Throughout the 2022 season, Solbakken has had to respond to rumors about Roma and José Mourinho as a new potential employer from 2023.

– I haven’t met him in person yet, but I had a nice conversation with him on the phone, admits Ola Solbakken.

NR 18: Now begins the battle to play his way into the team for the newly minted Roma Pro. Photo: ASRoma

– So he called? What were you talking about?

– He confirmed what the club had said that he wanted me to come and play. It was a bit up to me. If I wanted to be a Roma player, I would be, says Solbakken.

– He was honest and clear

Mourinho then explained that he had followed Solbakken over time.

– He knew me well considering that I had played against them many times. He had also analyzed both Bodø/Glimt and me. He was clear about what I was good at, and not so good at. He also explained how he was going to develop me in a good way, so he was both honest and clear, says Solbakken.

– He put it forward so that it was only up to me. “We want you, and you’re welcome if you want.” It wasn’t like he was begging then, says Solbakken.

– You didn’t bring up the 1-6 humiliation at Aspmyra then?

ROMA SCORING: Ola Solbakken has already scored a goal at his new home ground Stadio Olimpico when he scored for Glimt against Roma last November. Photo: Alberto Lingria

– No, I don’t think it was the wisest thing to do. I think I’ll be quite humble at the start, at least, laughs Solbakken.

Mostly throughout the season, Ola Solbakken has been confronted by the media about the rumours.

Never any doubt

Now he lightens things up a bit about the process and the speculation he faced along the way.

– Roma and I have had a good dialogue throughout, so there has been no pressure from anyone. There have been several clubs that have been interested, but it was Roma that was the clearest and that stood out.

– We had to evaluate all the offers that came in and check what was interesting. It was Rome that tempted the most, so there was never really any doubt, says Solbakken.

– There were rumors that you used to fly between Bodø and Rome in your own private plane. Is that correct?

– Yes, I have visited Rome, confirms Solbakken.

Solbakken is relieved and happy.

– It is good that it has been done and confirmed. It has been a long process, because Rome has been around for a long time. There has been a lot of back and forth about when the signing should take place, says Solbakken.

Solbakken expects him to meet his teammates and Roma as early as early January.

SAD: Ola Solbakken let the tears flow when he said goodbye to Bodø/Glimt and the audience after the last league game at Aspmyra. This picture is from the 2-2 match away to Roma in the Conference League last year. Photo: Alessandra Tarantino

SAD: Ola Solbakken let the tears flow when he said goodbye to Bodø/Glimt and the audience after the last league game at Aspmyra. This picture is from the 2-2 match away to Roma in the Conference League last year. Photo: Alessandra Tarantino

Then the job of fitting into the team also begins.

– I will use the time and the holiday to train well and get in as good physical shape as possible. I’ll have to take it from there because I’m really excited myself about what level I’m going to. I will be myself and do my very best. We’ll see how well it turns out, says Solbakken.

For Ola Solbakken, it was a hectic farewell with both players and friends in Bodø/Glimt.

He went straight from the last league game in Drammen to the national team meeting. There was no time for a silver party in Bodø.

Glimt fan for life

Solbakken has admitted several times that it was difficult to leave Bodø, but feels that he has said goodbye to most of them.

– The stay in Bodø has meant a great deal, not only in terms of football, but also socially. This was the first place I moved to completely alone, he says.

– Bodø is a nice and warm city with nice people. I am extremely grateful both for what I have experienced socially and in Bodø/Glimt, says Solbakken.

Solbakken hopes he won’t have to face Bodø/Glimt in Europe.

Whether he will return to play for Glimt again, he does not know.

– I don’t want to reject that idea in any case, he says.

However, he is sure of one thing.

– Even though I’m from Trønder, I’ll always be a Bodø/Glimt fan for the rest of my life, says Solbakken on his way to a well-deserved holiday before his professional life starts in Rome on 1 January.

The article is in Norwegian

Tags: Ola Solbakken called Jose Mourinho personally

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