Man Utd: Cristiano Ronaldo's superb tracking back in Ralf Rangnick's first game vs Palace

  • Kobe Tong

Cristiano Ronaldo started Ralf Rangnick's first game as Manchester United manager.

When the Red Devils made the decision to appoint Rangnick as their interim coach on the back of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's sacking, there were fears about how the move would impact Ronaldo.

Rangnick is world famous for his 'gegenpressing' football that has so often revolved around players in their early twenties dashing around to regain possession and get shots away within seconds.

Ronaldo under Rangnick

And although Ronaldo is unquestionably one of the greatest players in football history, there's no escaping the fact that he isn't exactly known for his long-busting pressing out of possession.

The win over Arsenal in mid-week gave a perfect example of Ronaldo busting a gut to join in with a counterattack, but harrying back fours every ten seconds is a completely different type of pressure.

However, there were signs that Ronaldo - despite now being 36 years old - is willing to adapt his game to Rangnick's brand of football during the Premier League win over Crystal Palace.


Ronaldo vs Crystal Palace

It wasn't exactly a vintage performance from the five-time Ballon d'Or with Fred eventually bagging the winner, but he certainly did enough to justify his place in the starting XI.

Not only that, but Ronaldo played all 90 minutes at the 'Theatre of Dream's with the Portuguese showing his commitment to the cause up until the final seconds as Palace pressed for an equaliser.

So much so, in fact, that footage of Ronaldo tracking back has gone viral on United's Reddit page, attracting more than 1,400 up-votes and 100 comments less than six hours after his emergence.


Ronaldo tracking back in injury time

The clip shows Ronaldo displaying exactly the sort of pressing and defensive effort that surely will have impressed Rangnick, particularly when you consider that he'd been playing for 94 minutes.

And although the 36-year-old wasn't quite able to get a tackle in on Michael Olise in the process, you can rest assured that he helped to pressure the Palace man into conceding possession.

So, why not give yourself a glimpse of Ronaldo going full 'Rangnick style' by watching the clip below:

But Ronaldo is going to flop under Rangnick, apparently...

Write off Ronaldo at your peril

Ok, sure, it's not as though a player in their late thirties is going to be able to press as aggressively as, say, Bruno Fernandes or Fred, but write off Ronaldo's propensity to track back at your peril.

At the end of the day, Ronaldo is a 36-year-old like no other with his commitment to hard work and professionalism making him far faster, fitter and stronger than any other top-level player his age.


As such, we can feel fairly confident that Ronaldo will be more than capable of playing the exact brand of football that Rangnick so desires as long as he picks the right moments to pounce.

And if that's with 94 minutes on the clock with the game in the balance, then so be it.



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