Ralf Rangnick's message to the United fans
Ralf Rangnick has named Diego Maradona and Johan Cruyff as the two greatest players of all time and given a brief message to Manchester United fans about what they can expect to see under his management.
The second part of the 63-year-old's exclusive interview with club media, after he was unveiled as interim manager on Friday, is now available to watch for registered users via our Official App and on ManUtd.com.
In the chat with Stewart Gardner, Rangnick is asked to choose the greatest footballer of all time and send a message to Reds supporters, as well as what his most memorable match was as a manager and a fan.
The five-minute interview provides further insight into the fascinating and much-respected German coach and you can read it in full below...
“When I was a young boy, at first it was Alemannia Aachen but then I was eight or nine years old at the time. I think they played First Division in Germany. But, after that, it was Borussia Monchengladbach, with the Fohlen team at the time, with players like Berti Vogts, Jupp Heynckes, Ulrik Le Fevre, Allan Simonsen, [Wolfgang] Kleff in goal. At the time, this was the team that excited me most as a young boy. After I became a coach myself, and as I said, this was at a very early age, at 25, you cannot afford to be a fan. You’re always a fan of the club you work for.”
“I think there are quite a few who would come into consideration but I think definitely Diego Maradona is one of them to name. Somebody who also influenced my approach as a coach because I think he was the first modern no.10 in football was Johan Cruyff. He also had a big influence, not only as a player, but as a coach later on when he worked for clubs like Ajax or Barcelona. I remember when I was 13, 14, playing for the youth team in my home club. I asked my coach if I could play with no.14 [Cruyff’s number]. At the time, it was completely unnormal because you had numbers from one to 11 and the coach allowed me to play with the reserve-team number 14 on the back of my shirt. I would name the two of them but obviously there are quite a few more. We have Cristiano [Ronaldo] here, we have Lionel Messi, we have Robert Lewandowski right now, so it’s difficult to just name one of them. I would say Diego and Johan are definitely two who should be named.”
“As a manager, I think the win at Inter, 2-5. Especially with the team we had at Schalke at the time. As I said, we were missing five or six first-team players and to win there 2-5 against Inter who had won the Treble the year before, was the most unexpected, spectacular game that I attended in the dugout. Apart from that, I wasn’t in the stadium, but the win of the German national team against Brazil was something special. I watched it in front of the TV but to remember and recall a game I watched in a stadium, it’s difficult. It’s probably in the ‘80s when I was in England! As I said, in the last 25 years, I worked as a professional coach and I was not in stadiums that often to watch games as a fan or spectator.”
“I’ve been here before, obviously, 10 years ago when we played here. I wouldn’t say I know the city well but, at least I have some sort of impression about the city and the people and the club here have received me so cordially and shown my quite a few things. I’m sure in the next couple of weeks I’ll get to know the city better. It’s a lot of traffic, the weather is not that much different from Germany, at least temperature-wise, so I will get along here.”
Finally, what is your message to Manchester United fans who are watching this?
“As I said, I think everybody expects – especially the supporters but also the players and the coaching staff – to perform in a successful way and to play in style. And to combine those two things I think this is the major target in the next days, weeks, months. To make sure the fans can see what we want to play and that we do that, investing everything we can to get better. This is, for me, the major target in the next weeks.”