Ralf Rangnick’s imprint on modern football is evident.
Jurgen Klopp, Ralph Hasenhuttl and Thomas Tuchel are all supporters of the pressing style of football that he brought to the fore in German football over 20 years ago.
And now Rangnick could follow his former proteges to England and finally make it to the Premier League on third demand.
Manchester United have reached a deal with Rangnick to become their interim manager on a six-month contract according to Athletic.
Rangnick, who is currently responsible for sports and development of Lokomotiv Moscow on the Russian side, will then take a post in the United hierarchy.
The German, who also served as sporting director for RB Leipzig and Red Bull Salzburg, had previously been a target for the Red Devils in 2019.
Ragnick was also considered by Chelsea after sacking Frank Lampard in January this year, but he pushed back the club’s advances.
The 63-year-old spoke to Blues chiefs Marina Granovskaia and Petr Cech, but was only offered a contract until the end of the season.
He told The Times: “I said, ‘I would love to come and work with you, but I can’t do it for four months. I am not an interim coach ”.
“For the media and the players, you would be the ‘four month manager’, a lame duck, from day one.”
Chelsea ended up appointing Tuchel, Rangnick’s compatriot, who led the club to their second Champions League title in just a few months.
Rangnick added: “Thomas has become a coach through me. He was my player at Ulm and had to end his career because of knee problems.
“I gave him a job as an Under-15 coach. He didn’t even intend to be a coach, he worked in a bar in Stuttgart.
Rangnick’s rise to one of football’s most respected minds is a far cry from the derision he received when he debuted his philosophy.
In 1998, the former coach of Ulm’s second division presented his tactical approach on German television and earned him the nickname “football teacher”.
The nickname quickly changed from mockery to cheering for gegenpressing transformed Bundesliga football and later much of Europe.
The task of revitalizing United would likely be one Rangnick would enjoy depending on the career he has carved out since hanging up his boots at 25.
COMPLETE LIST OF RB LEIPZIG SANCTIONS
- Blow up the balloons, take them to the field and clean them up
- Train one of the academy’s teams on a free day
- Stadium tour guide
- No punishment
- Maintain a training ground
- Wear a ballerina tutu for training
- Mix drinks before training and fill water bottles
- Work as an assistant in the club shop
- Serve food in the team cafeteria and clean tables
- Work as a kit assistant
- Help load the team bus with crates and bags for away games
- Buy gifts for 60 staff
He had previously guided Schalke to the Champions League when he was drawn to then-third division Hoffenheim in 2006.
Rangnick brought Die Kraichgauer back to the Bundesliga after successive promotions before joining the Red Bull squad.
The former midfielder went on to become the sporting director of Leipzig and their sister club Salzburg and oversaw the first in existence’s rise to the Champions League in just eight years.
Along with his innovative ideas on the pitch, Rangnick also concocted a unique method to punish his players who came off the line.
Instead of fines, Leipzig installed a “wheel of doom” that ranged from providing stadium tours to serving dinner or wearing a tutu for training.
“Fines rarely do anything,” Ragnick told Bild. “It hurts the players more, for example, if they have less free time, like three hours of work in the fan shop. “
His ideas even caught the attention of England who approached him in 2016, but the FA appointed Sam Allardyce, who left after just 67 days in charge.
Ragnick declined an offer to manage West Brom in 2012, but four years later the technical director who tried to hire him, Dan Ashworth, returned with another proposal: to succeed Roy Hodgson as boss of the Three Lions. .
“The interview went very well and the panel consisted of Dan, Martin Glenn and David Gill. In the end, it was between me and Sam Allardyce and they picked Sam, ”Ragnick told The Times.
“Dan called and said, ‘Ralf, you would have been my candidate but the others wanted an English coach as a role model for the next generation. At the end of the day, we know how it turned out.