Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has expressed his admiration for the National Health Service, calling them "the real heroes" as the coronavirus grips much of the UK.
Solskjaer is back in his native Norway as football all around the world has gone on hiatus, with the Covid-19 crisis continuing to wreak havoc.
Though footballers are often some of the most admired figures in their respective countries, Solskjaer said that right now it's time to recognise the contributions of people who work away from the pitch.
"We all know, sometimes, we’re the heroes but, at the moment, we can be the back-up support. The NHS and the Health Service, they are the real heroes now," Solskjaer told Manchester United's official website.
“It’s the same for me in Norway, watching what is happening there. I think we all realise how much [is being done] and I don’t think we should save money on health. Health is a critical thing. Sorry for the political message, it just got me involved there!“
The break in action came at a particularly bad time for United, who are currently in the midst of an 11-game unbeaten run in all competitions.
Though his side recently started to fire on all cylinders, Solskjaer wasn't ready to dwell on the poor timing of the sport going on hiatus.
“I can call it a shame but it’s just life now,” Solskjaer said. “We’ve all got to adjust and I think everyone knows what is more important than anything now is people’s lives.
"When football is part of our life and, when football is back, we know normality has come back. I am sure the fans are eager to come back but they also have a part to play. Let’s make sure we get through this together.”
The United boss said he is eager to get back on the pitch, but is well aware that there are more important priorities at present.
“I think we all know the situation now,” Solskjaer said. “We’re all patient and looking forward to football coming back to the stadiums and on TV but, in the meantime, we’ve all got a real important role to play in staying at home and following the guidelines to help the NHS.
"If anyone can volunteer and help, that’s fantastic and that’s the way we save lives.”