Manchester United hire Rangnick, 'godfather' of modern soccer

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Manchester United hired Ralf Rangnick, widely considered one of the architects of modern football, as interim manager Monday, bringing a swift end to their search for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's replacement.

Rangnick will serve as coach until the end of the season. He'll continue working for the club as a consultant over the next two years.

Rangnick broke his contract with Lokomotiv Moscow, where he'd served as head of sports and development, to take up the role at Old Trafford.

"The squad is full of talent and has a great balance of youth and experience. All my efforts for the next six months will be on helping these players fulfil their potential, both individually and, most importantly, as a team," the German said in a statement.

"Beyond that, I look forward to supporting the club's longer-term goals on a consultancy basis."

The Red Devils made the appointment just over a week after parting ways with Solskjaer, who left his role in the aftermath of a dismal 4-1 loss to Watford.

Caretaker manager Michael Carrick subsequently steered United to a 2-0 win over Villarreal in the Champions League on Tuesday and a 1-1 draw with Premier League leaders Chelsea on Sunday.

Beyond relieving Solskjaer in the dugout, Rangnick promises to change United's entire approach to football and, more importantly, give a uniform identity to a meandering outfit.

"Ralf is one of the most respected coaches and innovators in European football. He was our No. 1 candidate for interim manager, reflecting the invaluable leadership and technical skills he will bring from almost four decades of experience in management and coaching," John Murtough, United's director of football, added.

As a pioneer of gegenpressing - the German term for counter-pressing - the 63-year-old Rangnick tends to favor younger players who can learn quickly and execute his vision. He may have the perfect squad to achieve this transformation, with Amad Diallo (19), Mason Greenwood (20), Jadon Sancho (21), Diogo Dalot (22), Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Marcus Rashford, Donny van de Beek (24), and Anthony Martial (25) all at his disposal.

At 36, Cristiano Ronaldo doesn't fit the same description, but he's far from a problem at United. The Portuguese superstar has 10 goals in 15 appearances this season, including six in the Champions League and five game-winners.

Rangnick hasn't coached since the 2018-19 campaign with RB Leipzig. He played a huge role in Leipzig's rise from the fourth division of German football to the Bundesliga between 2012 and 2018. He also lifted Hoffenheim to the top flight from the third tier between 2007 and 2009.

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Manchester United hire Rangnick, 'godfather' of modern soccer
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