Cristiano Ronaldo’s Man Utd dressing room antics split opinion after Ralf Rangnick warning

Cristiano Ronaldo is reported to have recently approached Ralf Rangnick and suggested changes to the current formation to get the best out of him at Manchester United

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Ralf Rangnick reacts to 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid

Ralf Rangnick knew what he was getting himself into when he took the role of interim Manchester United manager back in 2021.

He knew he’d be tasked with the high-pressure job of inspiring a flat Red Devils team to stardom – or, at the very least, a top-four finish.

And he knew he would have some big egos to control with Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba and Edinson Cavani, to name but a few, in the squad.

Rangnick has made a steady if not underwhelming start to his short tenure as Manchester United boss and was recently faced with a challenge posed by Ronaldo.

The Portugal international is a serial winner with high expectations.

Who will advance to the next round between Atletico Madrid and Ralf Rangnick? Comment below

Cristiano Ronaldo is a very important player for Man United when he’s on form


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Everyone in football is aware of the forward’s influence, and while he has the ability to single-handedly lead a team to success, this same drive can unsettle a dressing room.

According to The Athletic, Ronaldo took it upon himself to approach Rangnick after the draw with Southampton on February 12 to suggest some changes by made at United.

Ronaldo requested the German play two strikers up top in future matches to provide him with support in the final third.

Ronaldo previously played in a two at Man United under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but has recently been a lone frontman in Rangnick’s favoured 4-3-3.

So far Ronaldo’s request has seemingly fallen on deaf ears with Rangnick sticking to his guns and continuing to use the 37-year-old as a lone forward.

How things will play out in the coming weeks remain to be seen, but Rangnick will know this test from Ronaldo – his influence at United – is to be expected.

Before Rangnick learnt he’d ever manage such a player he’d received warnings on the difficulties of coaching an individual like Ronaldo.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s former boss Maurizio Sarri was among those to speak out on the challenges Ronaldo poses in the dressing room.

“Ronaldo’s management is not simple, from all points of view,” Sarri, then Juventus boss, told radio station Sport Italia in July 2021. “He is a multinational company; he has personal interests that must coincide with football.

“His interests go beyond what is normal, beyond the team or club. I am a coach, not a manager. Ronaldo, however, brings the numbers at the end of the year. But in recent years, I hear a lot about players and little about teams.”

Ralf Rangnick is yet to alter his formation on Cristiano Ronaldo’s alleged request



Not everyone agrees that Ronaldo’s hands-on approach, which could be perceived as undermining, is negative, though.

His former teammate Dimitar Berbatov previously spoke to Mirror Football about what Ronaldo is like in the dressing room and in training.

And he explained how his infectious determination and winner’s mentality rubs off on his teammates in a productive way.

Berbatov said: “[He was] always sure of himself and his quality. I never saw him miss a training session, not ever to be honest.

“He was always training the right way and always stayed late after a training session to work on his free-kicks and his cutting into the box and shooting.

“Even after that, it was to the gym and then the swimming pool to take care of himself so he could get faster, stronger, well-balanced and we saw the results after that.”

He added: “In football, there is a hierarchy when someone like Ronaldo comes into the team you give him the respect he deserves.

“It is all there, all that he has achieved, and I think it’s up to him to speak to the players and give them advice and help them develop.”

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