Home » How Cristiano Ronaldo is likely to react to Ralf Rangnick’s training methods

How Cristiano Ronaldo is likely to react to Ralf Rangnick’s training methods

by Red Billy

Ralf Rangnick has not even taken up his post as interim manager of Manchester United yet, but already questions are being raised in the media and on social media about his compatibility with star forward, Cristiano Ronaldo.

It is a coincidence, or irony, that the manager credited with being pretty much the inventor of the high press is going to manage the forward known to press the least in the whole of the Premier League, by some margin.

There was reportedly some friction at Ronaldo’s former club Juventus because of his refusal to press, with the rest of the team feeling as if their job was merely to win back the ball and feed it to him to score.

How will this be resolved? Will Rangnick allow CR7 to be an exception to the rule? Will Cristiano agree to change his ways and press more? Will the German adopt a different system? Or will the Portuguese be dropped?

The latter two options seem unlikely, which leaves us with the first two – or a compromise between them, where Ronaldo agrees to up his pressing and Rangnick accepts that it is not going to be as strong as he would like.

But it is not as simple as that. This goes beyond what happens in the 90 minutes of competitive football to the whole structure of training.

According to The Telegraph, ‘A raft of changes are anticipated to the way United train and that could extend to Rangnick introducing a “countdown clock” that he has used at previous clubs, including RB Leipzig, to help drill players in the art of his “eight second rule”.

‘The 63-year-old … demands players win the ball back within eight seconds and fashion a shot on goal within 10 seconds of winning back possession.

‘The clock is designed so players can hear it ticking down, a situation that Rangnick believes elevates the intensity of sessions and can help to produce results within weeks.’

The fact is that Ronaldo will be just as much a part of that training as everyone else. And given that he is famed for being one of the best and most dedicated trainers in the world, this is a clash of styles that cannot be avoided, one in which it will be hard to find a compromise.

Furthermore, it is likely that those who appointed Rangnick to the United job ran the idea past Ronaldo first. Given his importance both on the pitch and in the dressing room, his blessing would have been important and to have given his blessing would mean that the Portuguese is ready to accept the new manager’s methods.

This leaves us with really only one likely outcome: Ronaldo will have to start pressing.

Of course, despite his incredible fitness levels, at 36 years of age, this will place extra demands on the United striker from a physical point of view. It might mean he is often subbed after an hour or so, or that he is rotated more and used as an impact sub.

But make no mistake, Ronaldo will press. He is a winner and will do what is necessary to bring success. And, knowing his constant pursuit of excellence, he will probably quickly become the best presser in the entire squad.

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