German Ralf Rangnick might have painful memories regarding his last football job in England. Roughly knocked over by an opponent player, the German amateur footballer and student of the University of Sussex spent three weeks in hospital. The defensive midfielder was forced into a four-month-long injury break.
Not many might have taken notice of the three broken ribs back in 1979. Rangnick never made his way to the top as a player but later turned into one of German football's most influential coaches.
The German coach remembers a great year in the shirt of the FC Southwick, located west of Brighton. "It was the second game in Chichester. I was knocked over and couldn't breathe properly," he reported. No surprise, as three ribs got broken, one stuck in his lung, Xinhua reports. Today the 63-year-old former Schalke, Hoffenheim, and Leipzig coach has entered the international stage as reports speak of him as the new boss of no one less than Cristiano Ronaldo and the team of Manchester United.
Formally on his way to becoming a Sport and English teacher, Rangnick is said to sign a contract until the end of this season as successor of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, followed by two years as the club's advisor.
After his Leipzig job, Rangnick started a career as a club developer, working for the Russian side of Locomotive Moscow.
Speaking English fluently, his new job can't fail due to a language barrier.
Despite never ending up at one of the big clubs, Rangnick in Germany is known as the founder of the back-chain of four, counting on zone marking and several other tactical inventions.
He led Hoffenheim and Leipzig from lower leagues to the first tier, delivering remarkable development work. His nickname in Germany, "Professor," might not be up to date anymore, but it stands for his ability to implement convincing tactical strategies.
What exactly is said to be one reason why United signed the German. The Premier League side needs to turn around things after the side dropped back to position eight in the national league.
Reports talk of United to look for a new head coach for the 2022/2023 season, counting on the expertise of Rangnick.
Media speak of Rangnick missing this weekends' encounter against Chelsea due to missing working papers in the UK. England icon Garry Lineker praised the Red Devils' step as a smart move.
While Rangnick isn't known as an overwhelmingly emotional coach, but favours a modern attacking-like game style. His skills as a man standing for long-lasting strategies might have triggered United's interest.
Rangnick has influenced the career of a significant number of coaches such as Thomas Tuchel. The Chelsea coach's active career as a footballer ended after a knee injury; Rangnick appointed him as a talent coach in Ulm. "He didn't even want to become a coach; he was working in a bar," Rangnick said.
Reports speak of Arsenal as the 2011 German Cup winner's first challenge in the Premier League. Before starting his United job, final negotiations with Moscow need to be made. The Russian side won't spoil Rangnick's big dream to, once in his life, take over one of the big sons.
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