Ralf Rangnick has insisted that Cristiano Ronaldo may one day “understand” why he subbed him off against Brentford if the Manchester United superstar ever became a coach.
United bounced back from their 2-2 draw with Aston Villa to secure a 3-1 win at the Brentford Community Stadium on Wednesday.
Anthony Elanga opened the scoring for United in the second half after an over-the-top pass from Fred, with Mason Greenwood doubling his side’s lead minutes later.
Marcus Rashford, whose form has been brought into doubt in recent weeks, ended his goalscoring drought by adding United’s third of the match.
Ivan Toney managed to pull one back for Brentford late into the second half, but Rangnick’s men sealed all three points as United push for a top-four challenge.
Ronaldo had returned to the starting XI after missing the FA Cup and Premier League matches against Villa due to a hip problem.
“Why did he take me off?”
Cristiano Ronaldo was not happy at being withdrawn in the 70th minute with Man Utd 2-0 up against Brentford… pic.twitter.com/gx0uur4GZf
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) January 19, 2022
Ronaldo, 36, was initially spotted slamming his coat to the floor in frustration and Rangnick saying something directly into his player’s ear while on the bench.
The Athletic’s Laurie Whitwell has now revealed that Rangnick informed the Portugal captain that he made his “decision for the team.”
“He said, ‘Why me, why did you take me off?’ I said I had to take the decision for the team, for the club,” Rangnick said, as per Whitwell.
Rangnick on Ronaldo: “He said, ‘Why me, why did you take me off?’ I said I had to take the decision for the team, for the club. Maybe in a few years when he is a coach he will understand.” #MUFC
— Laurie Whitwell (@lauriewhitwell) January 19, 2022
“Maybe in a few years when he is a coach he will understand.”
Speaking after the 3-1 win, Rangnick insisted that Ronaldo’s reaction was “normal” and admitted he was “angry” at himself for not changing to a back five in the Villa draw.
He told BBC Sport: “I told him [Ronaldo] we were 2-0 up and we have to learn lessons from Villa Park. After that game, I was angry with myself for not changing to a back five.
“Today was exactly the same situation and I did not want to make the same mistake again. I said: ‘Listen, Cristiano, you are 36 and in great shape, but when you are a head coach, you will see it through the glasses of a head coach.’
“My job is to take the decisions in the best interest of the team and the club and I hope he sees it the same way.”
United will return to Premier League action on Saturday when they host West Ham at Old Trafford, with kick-off slated for 3pm UK time.