Saturday, January 29, 2022

Rangnick backs ´amazing´ Ronaldo for pivotal role in his Man Utd plans

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 3 Dec 2021

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Ralf Rangnick is ready to make Cristiano Ronaldo a central part of his Manchester United plans after taking on the biggest job of his career.

The new United interim manager spoke at his first news conference since accepting the job, and he backed 36-year-old Ronaldo to be a standard-setter to the rest of his squad.

Rangnick was speaking less than 12 hours after United completed a 3-2 home win over Arsenal in the Premier League, a game that he watched from the stands.

There had been speculation that Ronaldo would not fit into Rangnick’s system, but the new boss sees nobody better suited to helping the Red Devils push for success this season.

The Portuguese striker’s two goals against Arsenal could not have been more timely, and now Rangnick can prepare for Sunday’s clash with Crystal Palace.

“You always have to adapt your style or idea of football to the players you have available, not vice versa,” Rangnick said.

“Having seen Cristiano yesterday in the second half, at the age of 36 he is an amazing, top professional. At his age, I’ve never seen a player who is still that physically fit.

“He’s still a player who can easily make the difference.

“It’s about how we can develop the whole team. It’s not just about Cristiano. We play in the most competitive league in the world, so we need all the players on board.

“What I saw from Cristiano yesterday, he’s more than willing to do that, to put his input into the team. The other team-mates will have to do the same.”

Rangnick said United were “obviously the biggest club” he has managed, having previously done his best work in Germany with RB Leipzig and Hoffenheim.

But after the stuttering start to this season, which has left United well off the pace in the Premier League, the German boss faces a major task in re-establishing the team as a force to be reckoned with.

He hopes the situation will have changed for the better by the end of the season, which is when his spell as manager is due to end, but also sees the opportunity for major growth by the time a subsequent two-year consultancy period ends.

“In an ideal world we will be in the top flight regularly, not only the top four but playing for titles,” Rangnick said. “This is in the DNA of the club, winning cups, winning titles, being as successful as we can in the Champions League.

“We are still in the Champions League and, depending on the draw, can get further in that competition. You have to be as successful as you can be.”

He knows plenty about the club’s history, but admitted he went on the internet to remind himself about the greats of United.

“Looking back to the times of George Best or Bobby Charlton, I had a look into Google about the most famous players, and you could line up four top teams in the last 50, 60 years,” Rangnick said.

“Of course, I also know about the disaster in Munich in 1958, the year I was born. I know all this and the legacy of this club is unique.

“Anyone who has the pleasure to work for the club has to follow this legacy and this DNA always has to be respected.”

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