Austria stars rally behind Ralf Rangnick after Cristiano Ronaldo snub

‘He was successful EVERYWHERE’: Austria stars Xaver Schlager and Christoph Baumgartner rally behind manager Ralf Rangnick after Cristiano Ronaldo claims the ex-Man United interim boss is ‘not even a coach’ in bombshell interview

  • Cristiano Ronaldo slated Ralf Rangnick during his explosive interview this week
  • He claimed the former Manchester United interim boss was ‘not even a coach’
  • Xaver Schlager and Christoph Baumgartner have defended the Austria manager
  • Schlager insisted Rangnick has been successful everywhere he has managed 

Austria midfielders Xaver Schlager and Christoph Baumgartner have rushed to defend Ralf Rangnick, after their manager was publicly deprecated by Cristiano Ronaldo this week.

During Ronaldo’s bombshell interview with Piers Morgan on TalkTV, which outlined the forward’s scathing views towards Manchester United, the Portuguese superstar criticised the appointment of former interim boss Rangnick, claiming he was ‘not even a coach’.

Rangnick, who carried out the role of sporting director at Lokomotiv Moscow before joining the Red Devils, has been Austria’s national team coach since June and is gearing his side up for the World Cup this week.

Austria star Xaver Schlager (right) has come to the defence of his manager Ralf Rangnick (left)

Cristiano Ronaldo claimed the ex-Man United interim boss was ‘not even a coach’ this week

Defending the competence of his coach, Red Bull Leipzig star Schlager told Austrian newspaper Der Standard: ‘I don’t know Cristiano Ronaldo personally. I have no idea what got into him there.

‘Everyone knows how much influence [Rangnick] had in Austria, at RB Leipzig and also in Salzburg.

‘He was successful everywhere. He is a very great professional who has also changed football a bit.’

Schlager hinted that Rangnick’s high-press philosophy was difficult for Ronaldo to get used to and likely warped his perception of United’s former interim manager.

Ronaldo was unimpressed by United’s decision to hire the former sporting director as manager

Austrian international Christoph Baumgartner has also rallied behind the national team coach

‘If you do and play something from an early age, it’s probably easier for you,’ Schlager said. ‘In the end, you always have to do your best.

‘It doesn’t mean that something new is bad either. As a footballer, you should be ready to play anything.’

Baumgartner also defended Rangnick and said: ‘He has already proven that he can not only build clubs, as he did with us in Hoffenheim, Leipzig, Salzburg or Red Bull in general. 

‘He has also had great success as a coach. That’s where Cristiano Ronaldo’s frustration comes from.’

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