10.12.2021 » Are Ralf Rangnick and Ronaldo compatible at Manchester United?
The arrival of German boss Ralf Rangnick as interim Manchester United manager, the so-called "godfather" of contemporary German football, saw question marks raised regarding the future of Man United star Cristiano Ronaldo. Rangnick's success as a head coach has been largely down to his brand of gegenpressing – high-intensity football in which teams press hard to retrieve the ball after losing possession rather than regrouping and regaining their shape. This aggressive and intense approach may be at odds with the attributes of Cristiano Ronaldo, who is entering the twilight of his career...
Cristiano Ronaldo - Every goal for Manchester United in the Champions League:
Ronaldo leads the line in energetic style against Crystal Palace
Nevertheless, any fears of incompatibility between Ronaldo and Rangnick's style of play may have been allayed after his first game in charge. United's home game with Crystal Palace was hugely refreshing for Red Devils supporters, who witnessed their team take the game to the Eagles by pressing high and playing much of the game in the Palace half. Ronaldo was at the heart of this positive style, harrying and cajoling the Palace defence into individual errors and constantly chasing down lost causes. The five-time Ballon d'Or winner still has the hunger and appetite to test himself at the highest level and playing under Rangnick's innovative system adds yet another string to his already impressive bow.
Being the ultimate achiever that he is, Ronaldo will almost certainly harbour aspirations to help United to another Champions League title this season. Particularly with the Premier League title already well out of reach. The Red Devils topped Group F to qualify for the knockout stages and are currently sixth favourites in the Champions League futures market to win the competition under Ralf Rangnick. They are available at a best price of +1600 with FanDuel, who are in the midst of celebrating the impending launch of legalised sports betting in Louisiana with no deposit bonus codes available to residents once the state goes live.
Ronaldo vs Messi could light up the Champions League last 16
Winning Group F means Man United will go into the draw for the last 16 of the Champions League as a seeded team. This does narrow down their likely opponents, but it does also create some potentially fascinating match-ups. Current Champions League holders Chelsea finished second in Group H and could be drawn against United. It's a similar story for Paris Saint-Germain, who were runners-up in Group A and a United vs PSG tie would see Ronaldo come head-to-head with Lionel Messi once again.
Former Manchester United stalwart-turned-pundit Rio Ferdinand believes Ralf Rangnick will lean heavily on his experience as head coach of German Bundesliga side Schalke 04. The Schalke roster contained Spanish superstar Raul who, like Ronaldo, was approaching the twilight of his career having spent much of his time at Real Madrid. Ferdinand said that because of this, Rangnick will be used to "adapting things" and developing a system capable of accommodating "a player of that calibre and class".
The issue is that Rangnick has previously stated in the media that he would be averse to signing a player like Ronaldo, with the German seemingly believing that the Portuguese icon would be a poor fit for his footballing ideology. Nevertheless, Ronaldo met the challenge head on against Crystal Palace. In his post-match press conference, Rangnick admitted that he had "never seen" a footballer that was "still that physically fit". The German was visibly impressed with Ronaldo's commitment to the cause and confirmed he had gone up in his estimations as a player that "can easily make the difference" in big games this season.
With six goals in his first 12 Manchester United appearances, Ronaldo has certainly hit the ground running during his second spell at Old Trafford. However, he's still got some way to go meet the goalscoring rates of his time at Juventus and Real Madrid. He averaged 0.82 goals per game in Turin and 1.06 goals per game in Madrid. Both of which are remarkable statistics, cementing the Portuguese as one of the greatest players of all time – regardless of whether he continues to shine under Rangnick.
Cristiano Ronaldo next game for Manchester United is on December 11, against Norwich City. You can watch Norwich City vs Manchester United, Chelsea vs Leeds, Liverpool vs Aston Villa, Manchester City vs Wolverhampton, Arsenal vs Southampton, and Bayern Munich vs FSV Mainz, all matches provided from our football streaming game pages.
Manchester United next game:
Norwich City vs Manchester United kick-off time (11-12-2021):
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