Ronaldo will have to 'CHANGE the way he plays', warns Kleberson

Cristiano Ronaldo will have to ‘CHANGE the way he plays’ and ‘help the team more’ under Man United’s new interim boss Ralf Rangnick, warns his former team-mate Kleberson

  • Ralf Rangnick will soon get down to work as Manchester United’s interim boss 
  • He is seen as the ‘godfather’ of gegenpressing and is set to change their style 
  • Questions remain on how Cristiano Ronaldo will adapt to the German’s demands
  • Ronaldo’s ex-team-mate Kleberson has warned the Portuguese needs to change 

Cristiano Ronaldo must update his style of play to ‘help’ his Manchester United team-mates more, insists his former team-mate Kleberson.

The arrival of interim boss Ralf Rangnick on a six-month contract has raised questions as to how Ronaldo, a player who routinely opts against committing to a high press style, will work with the German’s ‘gegenpressing’ philosophy. 

Ronaldo was benched for United’s last league match, away to league leaders Chelsea, and Kleberson, who played with the Portuguese superstar between 2003 and 2005, feels he will need to adapt to allow United to thrive.  

Cristiano Ronaldo must change his style of play, according to one of his former team-mates

 Manchester United have appointed Ralf Rangnick as interim manager for the next six months

‘Ronaldo is going to have to change the way he plays so that he helps the team more because that is what Manchester United need to get back to the top of the table,’ the Brazilian, speaking on behalf of Paddy Power, said.

‘Cristiano Ronaldo can help Manchester United; he’s a leader and he can help the other players as well.’

Asked about Ronaldo storming the tunnel following the 1-1 draw at Chelsea, in which he was given a late cameo role off the bench, Kleberson defended the Portuguese’s visible frustrations. 

‘I understand how frustrated he gets,’ he added. 

Kleberson (left), who joined United with Ronaldo (right) in 2003, says the Portuguese must ‘help’ his team-mates more by changing his game 

‘His reaction is normal for a player who is not starting or is subbed early. They’re never going to be happy with that.’ 

Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo is a talismanic figure in the dressing room but his role, and how it will look in a Rangnick system, has been questioned. 

Much was made about caretaker manager Michael Carrick’s decision to bench Ronaldo, who has 10 goals in 15 appearances since his return, for the blockbuster trip to take on Chelsea but he downplayed it as no problem. 

Ronaldo came on in the 64th minute but made little impression and hurried down the tunnel at full time after the briefest of handshakes with his manager.

Carrick must decide whether to restore the player to his starting line-up against Arsenal at Old Trafford on Thursday night but praised Ronaldo’s response to being benched. 

Michael Carrick denied falling out with Ronaldo after benching him on Sunday at Chelsea

‘I didn’t see it as a major decision,’ said Carrick. ‘We all got on really well, the game went well to an extent and it wasn’t a drama.

‘It seems like it’s a big decision but really, between us and me personally, it wasn’t. You can ask Cristiano, the way he responded was perfection.

‘Around the dressing room he was incredible and supported the players. I went in to do my half-time team talk and he was warming up 10 minutes in advance ready to come on in the second half. A lot can be made of it, spin it in a negative way, but behind the scenes the reality is very different.’

Carrick’s decision fuelled concerns that Ronaldo cannot be trusted to play the high-pressing game favoured by United’s incoming interim boss Ralf Rangnick. But he added: ‘Maybe it’s a myth. He’s played in enough teams over the years being successful to play in a variety of ways and kept scoring goals for every team. 

‘I’m sure he will continue to score goals.’ 

Carrick backed the Portuguese forward to adapt to new boss Ralf Rangnick’s pressing system

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