Ralf Rangnick explains what he intended to achieve at Milan, why it was ‘not wise’ to move there, but hints he’s angling for a job at the new Roma. 'My job is to create value.'
The former RB Leipzig chief had seemed to be on the verge of signing on as joint coach and director of sport at San Siro, but suddenly pulled out, prompting the Rossoneri to extend Stefano Pioli’s contract instead.
“I am a trainager – trainer, coach, but also manager,” Rangnick told the Corriere della Sera newspaper.
“Sporting and economic results are all part of the same project and a head coach gives his best when he chooses the players suited to his football, not having to reckon with other people’s decisions.
“Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool is doing that and you can see the results. A club needs a sustainable medium-to-long-term project and it all starts from one concept: a very clear idea of the football you want to play.
“Identity leads to the system, as for example all the Red Bull teams play in the same way, whether they’re in Salzburg, Leipzig or New York.”
Rangnick reiterated it was “not wise” to come in and transform Milan after Pioli racked up nine wins and three draws in the post-lockdown period, as the situation had changed since he was first contacted in October.
He also had a very different vision to the squad that is forming now under Pioli and director Paolo Maldini.
“I admire Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s physical fitness at the age of 38, but my job is to create value, not buy it ready-made. Players should be sought out when nobody really knows them yet. At Red Bull, we worked continually with the scouting network, who know the characteristics we look for.”
Rangnick’s comments in this interview have been seen almost as an audition for a role at the new Roma, who have been taken over by Dan Friedkin.
“The Bundesliga and Serie A are similar, as Bayern Munich and Juventus have dominated for many years and there are other clubs trying to create an alternative. This is why you need a clear vision and plan, such as the exceptional work done by Gian Piero Gasperini’s Atalanta.
“Roma represent a global metropolis and a club with European tradition, but which won its last Scudetto 20 years ago and its most recent trophy was a Coppa Italia 12 years ago.
“It’ll be interesting to see how the new owners, successful entrepreneurs like Dan and Ryan Friedkin, will try to put Roma back on to the path towards success.
“As for me, I’d bring five or six specialists to join the staff, not 20 or 25. My approach also pushes me to make the most of the people who are already at a club.
“For example, in 2012 I accepted the joint role of director of sport at RB Leipzig and Salzburg, so for the first two months, I spoke to everyone, trying to put the right people in the right place at the right time. Every detail is important, on the field and off.”