Saturday, December 4th 2021
“The challenge is enormous”
Ronaldo is really trying hard for Rangnick
On Sunday, Ralf Rangnick will be on the sidelines for the first time as coach of Manchester United. The question is still whether the German soccer teacher will manage to integrate Cristiano Ronaldo into his demanding system. The superstar, however, indicates that he is prepared for it.
Cristiano Ronaldo can hardly wait for Ralf Rangnick’s debut. “It’s time to see Mister Ralf Rangnick behind the wheel … let’s get started!” Wrote the Manchester United superstar on Instagram, looking forward to the premiere of the new Man United team manager on Sunday (3 p.m. / Sky) against Crystal Palace. On Thursday, the new head coach was an eyewitness to the 3-2 win against Arsenal and CR7’s brace, which broke the next career sound barrier with goals number 800 and 801 in official games.
Rangnick praised the five-time world footballer. The 36-year-old Portuguese is a player who “can easily make the difference,” said Rangnick with special praise: “I’ve never seen a player of his age who is so fit.”
The big question: Will Rangnick manage to integrate Ronaldo into his running-intensive and pressing-heavy game idea? The British media have been intensively concerned with the question of whether the exceptional player can actually implement Rangnick’s idea of defensive work in the interests of the team. The first answer was already against the Gunners. Ronaldo put pressure on opponents a total of 27 times, more than ever this season – previously the average was 14.4.
Rangnick reacts to Haaland’s request with humor
Rangnick is also pleased to finally manage the Old Trafford team himself as the successor to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. “These are one of the biggest clubs in the world, maybe even the biggest,” said the 63-year-old at his official launch. “The challenge is enormous. But I’m really looking forward to working with these players here.” His performance was new territory for Rangnick. The morning appointment shows: Rangnick, who will look after United until the end of the season and will then be available as a sports advisor for two years, has long days and a lot of work ahead of him with the last troubled record champions from England.
However, he did not rule out that his coaching activity could continue over the next six months. “If everything goes well, it could be that I could make the same recommendation as at RB Leipzig – that it would be an idea to continue with me as a coach for another year. But that’s all hypothetical,” emphasized the Swabian.
After 14 match days, the star ensemble around Ronaldo is still far from the top positions. In any case, United is not looking for a new striker, such as Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund), as Rangnick affirmed. Rangnick countered rumors of a supposed bonus of ten million euros for a commitment from the BVB striker. “Let me take a look,” he said, demonstratively leafing through his documents: “Ten million for Haaland, ten million for Mbappé, ten million for Lewandowski and ten million for Kimmich.”
Rangnick discovered his love for England many years ago. In the early 1980s he studied English to be a teacher at the University of Sussex in Brighton, and spent his free time visiting legendary stadiums such as Highbury, White Hart Lane and Goodison Park. Now, from Sunday, Rangnick will be in Old Trafford, the “Theater of Dreams”, on the sidelines, a football temple with plenty of history. “This is absolutely unique,” he enthused about his new place of work: “Very few teams have such an atmosphere behind them. For me, this is football in the purest sense.”