Ralf Rangnick rejected Cristiano Ronaldo’s request to strip Harry Maguire of captaincy

Ralf Rangnick’s ill-advised six-month spell at Manchester United was not pretty viewing for supporters but it exposed problems that Erik ten Hag, as a result, has been able to rectify.

Rangnick joined the club as interim manager until the end of the 2021/22 season after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked, with the German pioneer then planning to stay on in a consultancy capacity for an additional two years.

That role was scrapped almost immediately after Ten Hag took over, with Rangnick instead taking on the job as Austria’s national team manager.

Rangnick’s six months at Old Trafford were graphic and ugly and perhaps his handling of Cristiano Ronaldo was one of the biggest issues – a huge contrast to Ten Hag’s flawless handling in a near-identical situation.

Ronaldo was comfortably United’s top goalscorer last season and he scored the majority of his goals under Rangnick but just weeks into the 64-year-old’s tenure, trouble was brewing.

The legendary forward reacted badly to being substituted at Brentford in the early weeks of 22 and from that point, it only escalated to the point where Rangnick was left powerless.

Ronaldo also supposedly had issues with some of the players in the squad – reservations he laid bare in the explosive interview he held with Talk TV host Piers Morgan which culminated in his departure.

According to ESPN, club captain Harry Maguire found himself at the centre of ‘dressing room politics’ that also included Ronaldo. As per the report, Ronaldo was keen on becoming captain, putting an end to Maguire’s two-year stay as skipper.

It’s claimed that Ronaldo made this clear to Rangnick but to no avail as his request was rejected by the manager. Maguire remained a mainstay in the side under Rangnick until the end of the season when he was eventually dropped.

SN’s verdict…
There’s no telling how the reaction would have been at the time but considering how Ronaldo handled the following summer and then his highly controversial exit, you could argue that Rangnick got the decision spot on.

In terms of being a club captain, Maguire represents the club far better than how Ronaldo did in his last six months and that cannot be forgotten.

More Stories Cristiano Ronaldo Erik ten Hag Harry Maguire Manchester United Premier League Ralf Rangnick

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