Rangnick reveals what he told Ronaldo after his furious reaction in Man Utd’s win


Ralf Rangnick told Cristiano Ronaldo he was substituted ‘in the interests of the team’ during Manchester United’s 3-1 victory over Brentford on Wednesday.

The Portuguese forward reacted angrily to being replaced by Harry Maguire in the 71st minute with the Red devils already leading 2-0.

As he made his way to United’s dugout, Ronaldo was seen throwing his coat to the floor and asking the coaching staff, ‘why me?’ as he sat on the steps next to the bench.

But Rangnick defended his decision and said he has ‘no issue’ with Ronaldo. Speaking about the incident after the match, Rangnick said: ‘The only reaction I got was him asking me, ‘why me, why did you take me off?’. I said to him, ‘listen, I have to take the decision in the interests of the team and the club’.

‘We had exactly the same situation five days ago at Villa Park. Being 2-0 up, 15 minutes to play. Of course, we didn’t want to make the same mistake again.

‘I decided to switch to a back five with Harry Maguire and bring on Marcus as another fast winger on the right side. I think it was the right decision.

‘But Cristiano was not happy. He’s a goalscorer, he would’ve wished to stay on and score a goal himself. But for us it was more important to be compact, to make sure we have enough legs and enough strong headers to defend their free kicks and set pieces.

‘When we scored the third goal I said exactly that to him. I said, ‘look, Cristiano, I understand that you are still ambitious and you want to score yourself. Maybe in a couple of years when you are a head coach yourself and hopefully you’ll take the same decision, be in the same role that I was in today after 75 minutes’.

‘As I said, what I realised was exactly what happened. I didn’t expect him to hug me after being substituted. I know how goalscoring players think and how they tick but I have to take my decisions in the interest of the team and the club. This is exactly what I told him.

‘I have no issues with Cristiano. He’s come back from a little injury, he didn’t train for one-and-a-half weeks, being 2-0 up with 15 minutes to play, having players like Marcus and Anthony Martial on the bench, why should I not make use of that? That’s why I would always do it again in a situation like that.

‘I’ve been here now for six weeks I’ve not had any kind of issue with Cristiano. We spoke before the Villa FA Cup game and before the league game he told me he had a little issue with his hip flexor and we agreed between the two of us it would be better to make sure he has no problems with that kind of injury any more, that’s why he was not part of the squad in those two games.

‘Today he was available again, that’s why I played him from the start. No issues whatsoever. For the future, it’s just important for any player that we win games, this is first.’


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