Five things we learned from Ralf's interview
Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick has conducted an exclusive interview with club media, in which we learn more about the fascinating German.
The 63-year-old will start his United career on Sunday with the Premier League clash against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford, but before his debut in the home dugout at the Theatre of Dreams he brings up a range of topics, from the excitement of working with the current squad and his love for English football and culture to how he once shared a bottle of wine with Sir Alex Ferguson.
Here are five interesting takeaways from our first interview with Ralf...
At the age of 21, Rangnick moved from Germany to England to study English at the University of Sussex in Brighton for a year and it is clear that our new interim boss has maintained the language skills he learned on the south coast.
The 63-year-old comes across as a very strong communicator and his English vocabulary is particularly good.
HIS LOVE FOR ENGLISH FOOTBALL
During his time at university in England, he got on the train from Brighton to watch football matches across the country. He often travelled to London to watch Arsenal and Tottenham but he also made the journey to matches in the north-west, specifically mentioning Everton's Goodison Park.
One of the matches that stood out for Rangnick was the 1980 FA Cup final between West Ham and the aforementioned Gunners, which the Hammers won thanks to a Trevor Brooking goal.
"Since that year in the early 1980s, I have been infected with how the game has been played and the atmosphere in the stadium. I very much enjoy that," Ralf said.
RALF'S DONE HIS RESEARCH
This also came across during Friday's press conference, but it's clear that Rangnick is a student of the game and always keen to take on more information about football and United in particular.
“If we look back into the past they have won so many titles and produced and developed so many top players,” when asked what he knew about the history of the Reds. “Last night in my hotel room I went through the list of most famous players of Manchester United and I mean you could play three or four different teams with all those players.”
HE ONCE 'ENJOYED' A GLASS OF WINE WITH SIR ALEX
Or not! Rangnick has visited Old Trafford two or three times in the last decade, but he has only managed in M16 once before. That was in the 2011 Champions League semi-final, when Sir Alex Ferguson's United beat Schalke 4-1 to complete a 6-1 aggregate victory. Our legendary gaffer had time for a drink with Ralf after the game...
“Yes we spoke after the second leg here at Old Trafford. He invited me to his office here in the stadium.
“He enjoyed the glass of wine more than I did because we had no chance whatsoever in that game. We were missing five or six first-team players!”
FOCUS IS NOW
Following his spell as interim boss, Rangnick will take up a consultancy role for two further years. However, it is clear that the German is not thinking about that at the moment and the focus is on what is coming up in the short term.
"If I'm honest, I'm not thinking that far. For me, now, the most important thing is to know the players."