The coach has told it like it is. Ralf Rangnick has given all the details of what he told an upset Cristiano Ronaldo who was substituted during Manchester United's 3-1 win over Brentford on Wednesday night.
The Portuguese superstar was hurled off on 71 minutes. He did not bother to hide his frustration at being substituted for Harry Maguire.
Asked about the moment in the post-match conference, Rangnick shared every bit of detail from the conversation.
"He was asking, 'Why me and why do you take me off?'" he said, according to Manchester Evening News.
"I said, 'Listen, I have to take the decision in the interest of the team and the club and we had exactly the same situation five days ago at Villa Park, being 2-0 up with 15 minutes to play and we didn't want to make the same mistake again.'
Cristiano Ronaldo was absolute fuming when he was substituted by Ralf Rangnick at Brentford last night...😡 pic.twitter.com/6dzqgum1uR— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) January 20, 2022
"I decided to switch to a back five with Harry Maguire and bring on Marcus as another fast winger on the right-hand side and I think it was the right decision.
"Cristiano was not happy. He's a goalscorer, he wished to stay on and maybe score himself. But, for us, it was more important to be compact, that we had enough legs and enough strong headers to defend their free-kicks and set-pieces.
"When we scored the third, I said exactly that to him and I said, 'Look Cristiano, I understand you're still ambitious and want to score yourself, maybe in a couple of years when you're a head coach yourself you will hopefully take the same decision and be in the same role I was today after 75 minutes.'
"I didn't expect him to hug me after being substituted. I know goalscoring players, how they think, and I have to take my decisions in the interests of the team and the club and this is exactly what I told him.
"I have no issues whatsoever with Cristiano but again, he came back from a little injury, he didn't train for one-and-a-half weeks, and being 2-0 up with 15 minutes to play, having players like Marcus on the bench and even Anthony Martial, why should I not make use of that? And that's why I would always do it again in a situation like that.
"I've been here now for six weeks, I've never had any kind of issue with Cristiano. We spoke before the cup game against Aston Villa, and before the league game against Aston Villa he had an issue with his hip flexor and we agreed between the two of us it would be better that he has no problems with that kind of injury anymore, that's why he was not part of the squad in those two games.
"Today, he was available today and that's why I played him from the start. No issues whatsoever. For the future, the most important thing is we win games and this is first,” the German concluded.
Up next for the Red Devils is the Premier League visit of David Moyes’ feisty West Ham United this weekend at Old Trafford.