New Man Utd boss Rangnick shares views on Ronaldo at first press conference (VIDEO)
Ralf Rangnick has given his first press conference since formally taking over as Manchester United manager, using the occasion to praise Cristiano Ronaldo as a “top professional.”
Rangnick is finally set to begin his reign at Old Trafford after receiving a work permit and will be in the dugout for the first time when United host Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Sunday.
The German, 63, was in the stands on Thursday night at the Theatre of Dreams to watch United beat Arsenal in a 3-2 thriller thanks to a double from Ronaldo, which took the Portuguese icon past the 800-goal mark in his incredible career.
Given Rangnick’s reputation for demanding a high-intensity, heavy-pressing approach from his teams, some observers have doubted whether Ronaldo will fit into the German veteran’s plans.
However, Rangnick gave a glowing endorsement of Ronaldo when asked about the 36-year-old at a Friday press conference.
🗣 "At his age I've never seen a player who is still that physically fit."Ralf Rangnick on adapting players like Cristiano Ronaldo in to the new system that he plans to play pic.twitter.com/hdz1o6NLHC— Football Daily (@footballdaily) December 3, 2021
“You always have to adapt your style or idea of football to the players you have available, and not vice versa,” said Rangnick at his unveiling.
“Having seen Cristiano yesterday in the second half, at the age of 36, 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 only 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, and the other teammates will have to do the same.”
Rangnick is taking over at United having left his role as head of sports and development at Russian club Lokomotiv Moscow.
The German – who is considered the ‘godfather’ of his nation's modern school of coaching – has previously managed at clubs including RB Leipzig and Schalke 04.
He has signed a six-month deal to be United’s interim manager until the end of the current season and will remain at the club for a further two years in a consultancy role.
One man who will not be part of Rangnick’s coaching team is Michael Carrick, who had presided over the past three games as caretaker manager following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Carrick, 40, announced after Thursday’s win over Arsenal that he would be leaving the club, having spent the past 15 years at Old Trafford as either a player or coach.